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Relationship closeness, habit and perceived subjective norms as predictors of volunteer role identity in school-based mentoring programmes

Maura Pozzi (Psychology Department, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italy) (CERISVICO–Research Centre on Community Development and Organisational Quality of Life , Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Brescia, Italy)
Daniela Marzana (Psychology Department, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italy) (CERISVICO–Research Centre on Community Development and Organisational Quality of Life , Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Brescia, Italy)
Elena Marta (Psychology Department, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italy) (CERISVICO–Research Centre on Community Development and Organisational Quality of Life , Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Brescia, Italy)
Maria Luisa Vecina (Departamento de Psicología Social, del Trabajo y Diferencial, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Giovanni Aresi (Psychology Department, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italy) (CERISVICO–Research Centre on Community Development and Organisational Quality of Life , Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Brescia, Italy)

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education

ISSN: 2046-6854

Article publication date: 16 November 2020

Issue publication date: 5 February 2021

Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to examine factors associated with volunteer role identity in mentors of school-based mentoring programmes.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on established theoretical models of volunteerism (the Role Identity Model), and research and theory on mentoring programmes, an integrated model of predictors of mentor volunteer role identity was tested. Seventy-one mentors (63 females, mean age 36 years) completed a survey with measures of habit, subjective norms, satisfaction with the mentor-mentee relationship, relationship closeness, social skills and mentor role identity. Path analysis was used for data analysis.

Findings

Fit indexes revealed an acceptable fit to the data. There were six significant paths. Habit and subjective norms were directly related to role identity. The association between mentor role identity and two further predictors, satisfaction with the mentor–mentee relationship and social skills was respectively fully and partially mediated by relationship closeness.

Practical implications

Findings can inform mentoring programmes in supporting mentors to develop a close relationship with their mentees and promote the development of a role identity as a volunteer among mentors. A stronger role identity is in turn expected to enhance mentor retention in the programme.

Originality/value

An important and novel finding of this study is that relationship closeness contributes to mentors developing a volunteer role identity. Also, for the first time, the importance for mentors of support from significant others in fostering sustained volunteer engagement has been examined.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank all mentors for sharing their experience.

Citation

Pozzi, M., Marzana, D., Marta, E., Vecina, M.L. and Aresi, G. (2021), "Relationship closeness, habit and perceived subjective norms as predictors of volunteer role identity in school-based mentoring programmes", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 17-30. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-05-2020-0019

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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