Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Supervisor

Dr. David J. DeWit

Abstract

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) community-based mentoring programs have been shown to positively impact children’s health and well-being. A fundamental component of these successful mentoring outcomes is mentoring relationship quality (MRQ). While some research has examined the association between MRQ and child outcomes, little research has examined antecedents of MRQ. The mentoring literature suggests that mentor self-efficacy (MSE) may act to mediate the relationship between environmental supports, specifically, parent support of the mentoring relationship and mentor training satisfaction, and MRQ. However, these relationships have not been simultaneously tested in a single model. Furthermore, a necessary prerequisite to examining these relationships involves the evaluation of the measurement properties of measures designed to capture MSE and MRQ.

The primary objectives of this thesis research were to: 1) examine the measurement properties of the scales used to measure global and engagement MRQ; 2) examine the measurement properties of the scale used to capture MSE; and, 3) examine the extent to which MSE mediates the relationship between environmental supports, specifically, parent support of the mentoring relationship and mentor training satisfaction, and MRQ including global and engagement outcomes. Data were drawn from a prospective cohort investigation of 997 families and 477 mentors from 20 BBBS programs across Canada conducted by Dr. David DeWit and colleagues. A total of 272 mentors, 491 children, and 554 parents participated in this research and data were drawn from the 12- and 18-month follow-ups. Principal component analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, correlations, and multiple and logistic regression were used to evaluate the measurement properties of the scales. Structural equation modeling was employed to examine the extent to which MSE mediates the relationship between environmental supports and MRQ.

Results yielded good measurement properties for the MSE, global MRQ, and engagement MRQ scales including dimensionality, reliability, convergent validity, predictive validity (MRQ scales), and external validity across child gender and age sub-groups (global MRQ scale). MSE was found to partially mediate the association between parent support of the mentoring relationship and mentor reported global and engagement MRQ outcomes. Potential implications of the results are discussed along with opportunities for future research investigating these associations.


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