-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
FRIDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Although mentoring programs
intended to help children socially, emotionally or academically do
offer a number of benefits, these advantages are generally limited
and may not be enough for kids facing serious problems, a new
The authors of the report, published in
Psychological Science in the Public Interest reviewed more
than 70 existing evaluations of mentoring programs.
While overall, mentoring programs have been shown to be
beneficial, particularly in helping children improve test scores,
there is little research proving that mentoring helps with overall
educational attainment, decreases juvenile offenses substance use
or helps prevent obesity, among the main issues facing U.S.
And though mentoring helps with kids experiencing some
difficulties, most of these programs are not suitable for kids with
really serious problems, the report said.
Mentoring programs that matched kids and adults based on common
interests so they can find mutually enjoyable activities to do
together seem to work best, according to the report.
Mentors have to watch out not to become "over-involved" in a
child's life and to avoid giving so much guidance that they come
off sounding bossy, study author David DuBois, a professor of
community health sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago,
said in a journal news release.
"Mentoring programs represent a particularly exciting direction for maintaining strong investments in the future of our nation's youth despite the economic challenges that are currently facing the country," Dubois said.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management provides more
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