Agency-Level Randomized Trial of the Effectiveness of Youth-Centered Match Support as a Delinquency Prevention Strategy in Community-Based Mentoring


This project evaluates the feasibility and impact of introducing youth-centered match support practices into the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) community-based mentoring program. The youth-centered match support enhancement and related resource materials will be grounded in a conceptual framework of “youth thriving” within adult-youth relationships. Using a randomized matched-pairs design at the agency level, one BBBSA affiliate within each pair will be randomly assigned to the intervention condition and the other will serve as part of the control condition (n=15 agencies per condition). Thirty youth ages 10-16 determined to be at-risk for delinquency will be sequentially enrolled at each agency. Youth and mentoring relationship outcomes will be assessed at baseline, three months (relationship quality only), and one year using agency records and expanded versions of standardized assessment tools that are part of existing agency work flow. A comprehensive process evaluation will assess the extent and quality of implementation, participant exposure and response to enhancement activities, and differentiation from existing practices. Progress toward project goals will be assessed via documentation of rigorous execution of all planned research procedures, evidence of high-fidelity implementation of the enhancement by intervention agencies, and dissemination of findings to scientific and practitioner audiences.

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The end date for the grant funding this work was extended with no additional money.

Related publications

Jarjoura GR, DuBois DL, Shlafer RJ, Haight KA. Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents: A Synthesis of Research and Input from the Listening Session Held by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the White House Domestic Policy Council and Office of Public Engagement. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice; 2013. [See report.]