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Using Community Interaction Theory to Understand the Effects of Group Mentoring on Adolescents

HANSON, Jill, Blake, Hannah and Clark, Lewis (2023) Using Community Interaction Theory to Understand the Effects of Group Mentoring on Adolescents. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 26 (1). ISSN 1466-6529 (In Press)

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Abstract or description

Abstract This paper describes the outcomes for adolescents taking part in a twelve-week group behavioural mentoring programme and possible causal mechanisms involved, using Law's (1981) Community Interaction Theory as a theoretical framework. The two-stage qualitative research with four groups of students aged 13-14 showed that there were changes to their understanding of self, their self-confidence, their ability to control emotions and behaviour and, importantly, changes in their career aspirations. Interacting with their mentors, adults from outside their previous communities, appeared to have a significant impact on them. The data suggests this was via the creation of a new community which moderated existing beliefs about who they were, and what opportunities were open to them. The mentors provided feedback, support and information, and were perceived as a credible and trusted role model. The study offers an application of Law's theory to the younger students it was developed for and provides evidence suggestive of the importance of interactions with wider communities in career development and widening participation, although future research should consider long term follow up of mentees.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Community Interaction Theory; Group Mentoring; Adolescents
Faculty: Academic Development Unit
Depositing User: Jill HANSON
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2024 16:50
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 16:50
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