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Mentors’ behavioral profiles and college adjustment in young adults participating in an academic mentoring program

Pascale Brodeur (Department of Psychology, Laval University, Québec City, Canada)
Simon Larose (Department of Education, Laval University, Québec City, Canada)
George M. Tarabulsy (Department of Psychology, Laval University, Québec City, Canada)
Bei Feng (Department of Psychology, Laval University, Québec City, Canada)

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education

ISSN: 2046-6854

Article publication date: 6 March 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore associations between different mentor behavioral profiles and mentees’ perceptions of the quality of mentoring relationship, the usefulness of the mentoring, and their college adjustment during the first year of college.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a quasi-experimental design and involved the participation of 253 student mentees and 246 students from a control group. Cluster analysis on the responses of mentees on the mentor behavior scale was used to identify behavioral profiles of academic mentors.

Findings

Four distinct behavioral profiles were identified: optimal (high scores on mentor structure, involvement, autonomy support, and competence support); sufficient (moderate on all scales); controlling (low on autonomy support but high on other scales); and inadequate (low on all scales). Compared to mentees exposed to sufficient and inadequate profiles, mentees exposed to the optimal profile perceived the mentoring relationship and its usefulness as more positive. Furthermore, they reported better social adjustment in college compared to a control group, whereas mentees exposed to the inadequate profile reported poorer adjustment. Interestingly, mentees exposed to the controlling profile found the mentoring relationship useful.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides new empirical bases for the behavioral profiles of mentors that best meet mentees’ academic adjustment challenges. Limitations of the study include the absence of the mentors’ perceptions in the creation of behavioral profiles and the fact that the profiles were analyzed based on a single program.

Originality/value

Behavioral profiles of academic mentors were examined through the lens of a strong theoretical model that emphasizes the important role of structure, involvement, autonomy support, and competence support in the academic adjustment of mentees.

Keywords

Citation

Brodeur, P., Larose, S., Tarabulsy, G.M. and Feng, B. (2017), "Mentors’ behavioral profiles and college adjustment in young adults participating in an academic mentoring program", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 2-18. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-03-2016-0027

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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