Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

8-29-2016

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Dr. Marty Bullis

Content Specialist

Dr. Erin Mueller

Content Reader

Dr. Cindy Coe

Keywords

peer mentoring, social capital, school connectedness, prosocial skills

Abstract

Existing research on peer-to-peer mentoring has focused mainly on cross-age peer mentoring with several years’ difference between mentor and mentees (Karcher, 2005, 2007; Lawon, 2014; Willis, Bland, Manka, & Craft, 2012) and the impact of peer mentoring on the mentee. The researcher aimed to examine the relationship of participating in a high school based peer-to-peer mentoring program and the impact on the high school upperclassmen mentors in this study. School is a social organization where peers can develop school connectedness and expand their prosocial skills and through their social networks increase social capital. The impact of peer mentoring programs on high school peer mentors is an area that has not been sufficiently investigated. The current exploratory case study used data from surveys, interviews, and field notes to understand the experiences of mentors and the impact of peer mentoring in a high school mentoring program on these mentors in terms of their school connectedness, social capital, and prosocial skill development. Researchers have identified increases in mentees who are involved in peer mentoring programs (Karcher, 2005, 2007). Further research is needed to investigate the impact of these social connections on high school peer mentors. In this study, data was collected from the Hemingway Survey, mentor interviews, and field notes. Findings of this study support the conclusion that the peer mentors’ prosocial skills of school involvement, school connection, and social capital increased as a result of participating in a peer-to-peer mentoring program. Additionally, mentors did not report identifiable differences between matches that were same gender or different genders. Results from this study demonstrate the impact of increases in the development of prosocial skills and social capital in peer mentors.

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