NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New data released today proves that one-to-one mentoring causes a significant decline in risk factors such as violent behavior and drug and alcohol use in young people. According to a study conducted by Philliber Research Associates (PRA), risk factors declined 21% among mentored youth after a period of 15 months but increased 13% among non-mentored youth over the same period.
The study includes data collected from 224 young people, including 97 who were enrolled in a community-based mentoring program through Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City (BBBS of NYC), the nation’s first and New York’s largest mentoring organization. BBBS of NYC commissioned the study.
“This study demonstrates that mentoring has a positive impact on the lives of young people, reducing risk factors that would impede their path to success in life and giving them a chance to reach their full potential,” said Dr. Bill Philliber, principal at Philliber Research Associates. “Young people who have mentors in their lives achieve higher levels of academic success, develop stronger relationships with their peers and families, and make better choices.”
Other key findings from the study include:
- Mentoring has a greater impact among middle school students than on those in high school
- Mentoring is equally effective for both sexes, with risk factors declining 26% among mentored boys and 29% among mentored girls
- Positive effects of mentoring were reported at 6 months, with continued positive change reported after 15 months
- Among young people in grades 7-9, mentored students reported reduced risk-taking in the domains of violence, school, bullying and sexual activity; non-mentored students reported greater risk-taking in the domains of family, violence, school, poor grades, bullying, sexual activity and substance abuse
- Among young people in grades 10-12, mentored students reported reduced risk-taking in the domains of family, school, sex and substance abuse; non-mentored students reported greater risk-taking in the domains of family, violence, school, poor grades, bullying, sexual activity, and substance abuse
“Whether it is a parent, teacher, coach or volunteer like one of our Big Brothers or Big Sisters, we have always strongly believed that mentoring is the best way to make a positive impact on a young person’s life,” said Hector Batista, chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City. “By commissioning this study, we now have evidence that proves our programs are beneficial, and help to mitigate the risk factors these children of New York City are exposed to every day.”
Of the mentored youth who were surveyed, 72% were between 10 and 15 years old. The majority of participants are being raised in a single-parent household, and are Hispanic (31%) or African-American (39%). When the study began, 96% of mentored youth were surveyed had at least one risk factor, while 60% had three or more. The most common risk factors included family issues (68%), school issues (61%) and violence issues (70%). Additionally, 24% of mentored youth who were surveyed had unsatisfactory grades.
The study took into account more than 30 risk factors, including a single-parent household, an incarcerated parent, school suspension, school absenteeism, bullying, alcohol use, cigarette use, drug use, poor grades, sexual activity and physical fights.