Most mentoring programs take a non-specific, “friendship” approach. Yet more targeted (i.e., personalized) forms of mentoring are twice as effective!
Strong mentor-youth relationships are essential–but it may be equally important to provide mentors with training in targeted approaches that more directly address the specific needs and circumstances of mentees. Research suggests that, relative to non-specific friendship approaches, targeted approaches are more effective. We recently conducted a meta-analysis sought to examine the relative impact of these two distinct approaches to formal mentoring. When type of program was examined, targeted and more problem-specific programs had an average effect size of 0.25, which was more than double the average effect size non-specific, friendship-based programs (g = 0.11). Targeted programs were also significantly more effective than non-specific programs in improving academic, psychological, and social functioning. The mood ring feature enables this sort of specification.