Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

L. Christian Elledge

Committee Members

Kristy Allen, Todd Moore


The quality of the relationship between a mentor and mentee is considered an influentialmechanism linking youth mentoring to positive developmental outcomes (Rhodes, 2005). Assuch, it is important to understand the factors that promote the development of a high-qualityyouth mentoring relationship in order to maximize youth outcomes. Previous literature notesthat personality characteristics and attachment style influence the quality of dyadic relationships(Asendorpf & Wilpers, 1998; Noftle & Shaver, 2006). The present study sought to examinewhether dimensions of mentor personality and attachment style influenced the quality of theyouth mentoring relationship. This study also examined whether mentor attachment stylemoderated the relationship between mentor personality and youth mentoring relationship quality.Participants were 55 elementary school children and 62 college student mentors who wereparticipating in a randomized trial of a school-based mentoring program for children showingearly signs of aggressive behavior. Children were mentored for two semesters and received adifferent mentor each semester, resulting in 104 unique mentoring relationships. Mentorpersonality and attachment were assessed through mentor self-report, and measures of youthmentoring relationship quality were assessed through both mentor- and mentee-report. Resultssuggest the personality dimensions of Extraversion and Openness are significantly associatedwith mentoring relationship quality. Furthermore, mentor attachment style moderated therelationship between certain dimensions of mentor personality and mentoring relationshipquality. This study informs our understanding of the unique influence of mentor personality andattachment on youth mentoring relationship quality within the context of a mentoring programembedded in an important social context at school.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."