Enhancing Mentor Efficacy and Preparedness Through Web-Based Pre-Match Training





mentoring, mentor training, Web-based training, volunteer readiness, volunteer expectations, effective program practices


Self-efficacy and a sense of preparedness are key cognitions for retaining volunteer mentors and achieving positive youth outcomes. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a research-informed, Web-based pre-match training program, Preparing for Mentoring. Fifty-one mentoring programs with 127 volunteers were randomly assigned to the training (n = 80) or wait-list control (n = 47) group. Intent-to-treat regression analyses, controlling for baseline levels and demographic characteristics, revealed that trained volunteers were more self-efficacious, ready to mentor, and knowledgeable about the roles mentors should and should not play (particularly mentors with higher baseline scores), and had less unrealistically positive expectations than the control group. Results are discussed in terms of the need for mentoring programs to provide standardized, evidence-based training delivered with fidelity to volunteers to enhance their preparedness to mentor. Carefully designed research-informed, Web-based training can be more effective in accomplishing these preparedness goals than business-as-usual in-person training. 

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Author Biographies

Janis Beth Kupersmidt, Innovation Research & Training

Senior Research Scientist

Rebecca L. Stelter, Innovation Research & Training

Research Scientist

Jean E. Rhodes, University of Massachusetts-Boston

Department of Psychology

Frank L. Boyden Professor of Psychology


Kathryn N. Stump, Innovation Research & Training

Research Scientist