مطالعه طولی مشاوره با بزرگسالان ـ جوانان مبتنی بر کار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|8331||2003||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 63, Issue 1, August 2003, Pages 40–54
Using a longitudinal design, this study explored the relation of urban high school student attitudes toward school, work, and self-esteem beliefs to work-based mentoring, mentor satisfaction, and employment status. Participants included high school students taking part in a formal work-based mentoring program, students who established informal mentoring relationships at work, students who worked without a mentor, and students who were not employed during the academic year. While there were no significant group differences in the measures at the start of the year, results at the end of the year showed that students in the formal mentoring program believed more strongly that school was relevant to work than those who worked without a mentor. Students with mentors had higher levels of self-esteem than those who did not work. Students who were highly satisfied with their mentors had higher levels of self-esteem and believed more strongly that school was relevant to the workplace than students who did not work. The implications of these results are discussed and future research areas are identified.
School-to-work programs for high school students continue to expand in the US as both businesses and schools search for ways to develop a more highly skilled workforce. For scholars, this rapid expansion has led some to focus on theoretical frameworks explaining a student’s transition to work (e.g., Blustein, Phillips, Jobin-Davis, Finkelberg, & Roarke, 1997; Lent, Hackett, & Brown, 1999), while others have explored program effectiveness (e.g., Bassi & Ludwig, 2000; Linnehan, 2001). An implicit assumption of these school-to-work programs is that there are advantages to shepherding a high school student into the workforce using a structured format. Given this assumption, it is only natural that school-to-work programs that rely on adult–youth mentoring have grown considerably over the past two decades. This is particularly true for programs aimed at disadvantaged youth for whom continuing their education is often not feasible (Guetzloe, 1997). This programmatic growth, however, has not been matched with a comparable increase in empirical research, particularly research on formal programs that are based exclusively on the adult–youth mentoring relationship. Furthermore, while there has been an interest in examining different mentor–protégé types (i.e., formal vs. informal) in the organizational literature (e.g., Chao, Walz, & Gardner, 1992; Noe, 1988; Ragins & Cotton, 1999), this has not been the case in the youth-mentoring literature. The present study addresses these latter two concerns through its longitudinal examination of student attitudes and beliefs across groups of high school students with different types of mentoring, work, and school experiences over the course of an academic year. In contrast to the organizational literature, no studies were found in the youth-mentoring literature that explored different mentoring types (e.g., formal vs. informal). Organizational scholars have focused on differences in the benefits provided by formal and informal mentors to their protégés and have defined an informal mentoring relationship as one that is developed between a mentor and protégé spontaneously, outside a structured program. The findings of this past research, however, have been mixed. Some have reported no differences in the levels of psychosocial support given to protégés who are in formal or informal mentoring relationships (Chao et al., 1992). Others have found that informal relationships offered greater psychosocial support to their protégés than formal relationships (Fagenson-Eland, Marks, & Amendola, 1997; Ragins & Cotton, 1999). In an attempt to explain these divergent findings, it has been proposed that differences in satisfaction with the mentoring relationship may be a more powerful explanatory variable than mentoring type (Ragins, Cotton, & Miller, 2000). Given its importance in the organizational research, coupled with the reliance of many school-to-work programs on adult–youth mentoring relationships, the lack of studies exploring issues of mentor type and satisfaction represents a significant gap in the youth-mentoring literature. Mentor type and satisfaction may be particularly important factors to explore for adult–youth mentoring programs administered at the high school level. The mentor–protégé relationships in these programs are forged at a critical time in the development of a young person’s identity, a time characterized by an adolescent’s struggle between industry and inferiority (Erikson, 1963 and Erikson, 1997). Successfully working with mentors at their places of employment may not only impart a sense of industry or competency to the students, but the students may also derive cultural meaning from the workplace and be given social recognition by their mentors, factors that contribute to the development of a youth’s self-esteem (Erikson, 1968). Although the role self-esteem plays in academic achievement continues to be debated (Ross & Broh, 2000), self-esteem may be reflective of a youth’s perception of competency, a perception that can be validated for the youth by the adult in the mentoring relationship. A successful, satisfying relationship with a work-based mentor is likely to be closely associated with the youth’s perception of proficiency and, in turn, the young person’s self-esteem. Given the likelihood of this relation, and the importance of self-esteem in the development of a young person’s identity, this study examined the relation between mentoring type, satisfaction, and self-esteem. Formal, school administered mentoring programs screen and train adults to work with students during the academic year. As teachers and counselors, mentors try to exert a positive influence over student behavior and performance at the work place. Successfully completing various work tasks will contribute to the student’s sense of mastery, enhancing the young person’s self-perception. Thus, it is likely that there will be a positive relationship between interacting with adults in a formal mentoring program and the self-esteem beliefs of the student participants. Additionally, since protégés receive psychosocial benefits (such as role modeling and counseling) from mentoring relationships that develop spontaneously at work (Fagenson-Eland et al., 1997; Ragins & Cotton, 1999), these benefits may also serve to enhance the competency perceptions of the students. Thus, it is also likely that high school students who establish mentoring relationships on their own will have stronger self-esteem beliefs after working with their mentors, than those who did not work with a mentor. Thus, it is hypothesized: H1. Students who have either formal or informal mentors have stronger self-esteem beliefs over time than those who did not have mentors. In addition to focusing on a student’s self-esteem, another important outcome of many school-to-work programs is the belief that school is relevant to the workplace. Underlying most school-to-work programs is the goal of enhancing the relevance of school to work for the student, particularly for the non-college bound. Connecting school to work is believed to have positive benefits for students (Rosenbaum, 1989; Stern, Finkestein, Urquiola, & Cagampang, 1997). Formal, school-to-work programs place students in a work environment that creates a salient context for learning, thus encouraging greater student interest in school and enhancing the student’s motivation to learn (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Raizen, 1989). Participation in a formal school-to-work program that has a goal of enhancing the relevance of school to work should be positively related to a student’s belief about the relevance of school to work. Since mentoring relationships that develop spontaneously do not have this goal, there is not a reason to expect a relation between spontaneous mentoring experiences and student beliefs in school relevance. This led to the following hypothesis: H2. Students in a formal mentoring program believe more strongly in the relevance of school to work over time than those who do not participate in the program. Since work attitudes of potential entry-level workers are important factors in an employer’s selection decisions (Cappelli, 1995), the development of appropriate work attitudes is another objective of many school-to-work programs. Student attitudes toward work have been positively associated with the opportunity to learn on the job, highlighting the importance of the quality of a student’s job (Stern, Stone, Hopkins, & McMillion, 1990). Since the administrators of a formal mentoring program screen student jobs and role models can influence the attitudes of others (Bandura, 1986), adults chosen and trained to be student mentors at work are likely to have a positive influence on student attitudes toward work. Similar to the previous hypothesis, it is likely that interacting with a mentor in a formal program will be positively related to students’ work attitudes. Thus: H3. Students in a formal mentoring program express more favorable attitudes toward work over time than those who do not participate in the program. The positive relation between student beliefs about the relevance of school and work attitudes with participation in a formal mentoring program is based on the principle that structured, work-based learning programs are more likely to be effective if their outcomes are clearly delineated. This is the basis of arguments made by Hamilton and Hamilton (1997) and reiterated by Stern (1997) in their discussions of the potential influence work-based learning may have on the academic performance of students. There is recent evidence, however, that the attitudes of protégés in organizations are more strongly related to the protégés’ satisfaction with their mentors than the mentoring structure that is used (Ragins et al., 2000). Based on these findings, it is likely that work attitudes of students who are highly satisfied with their mentors will be more favorable than the attitudes and beliefs of students who are not satisfied with their mentors. Satisfactory experiences with a mentor are likely to be associated with a student’s motivation and willingness to work. Moreover, since mentor satisfaction may be an indication of the acceptance by the student of the mentor as an instructing adult and one who validates students’ capabilities and competencies, it is also likely that mentor satisfaction will be related to a student’s self-esteem. As such, the following hypothesis is made: H4a. Students who report higher levels of satisfaction with their mentors have higher levels of self-esteem and more favorable attitudes toward work over time than students who are less satisfied with their mentors, students who work without a mentor and students who do not work. It was previously hypothesized that mentoring in a formal school-to-work program will be related to students’ beliefs about the relevance of school, since one of the objectives of a formal school-to-work program is to demonstrate the importance of school to a professional career. However, there is not an a priori reason to believe that mentor satisfaction is related to a student’s belief in the relevance of school. Thus: H4b. Student beliefs in the relevance of school do not differ over time for those students who report higher levels of satisfaction with their mentors, those who report lower levels of satisfaction, those who worked without a mentor, and those who do not work.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study has shown evidence of a positive relation between formal and spontaneous mentoring experiences to the beliefs and work attitudes of urban youth. Consistent in part with hypotheses one and two, working with a mentor in a formal program was related to student self-esteem and the belief in the relevance of school to work. Contrary to expectations of hypothesis three, however, there was also a relation between a spontaneous mentoring relationship and student attitudes toward work. Similar to Ragins et al. (2000), the present study also showed evidence that protégé attitudes and beliefs are related to satisfaction with a mentor, highlighting the importance of the quality of the relationship between the mentor and student. These results are evidence for the belief that positive, supportive adult mentoring relationships that develop in or outside a formal program may be an effective means to counteract some of the negative contextual barriers faced by many urban youth today (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 2000). This study also found that students who worked without mentors believed that school was less relevant to work than students who had mentor relationships during the year. This is consistent with some of the early research by Steinberg, Greenberger and their colleagues, which showed negative consequences of working part time for high school students (Greenberger & Steinberg, 1981; Greenberger & Steinberg, 1986; Steinberg, Greenberger, Garduque, Ruggiero, & Vaux, 1982). These negative outcomes were partially attributed to the lack of contact students had on their jobs with adults who would act as positive role models (Greenberger & Steinberg, 1986; Greenberger & Steinberg, 1981). In the present study, students reported their mentors spoke with them frequently about the relevance of school (formal program: mean=4.1, Informal=4.0 on a five-point scale, 1=Not at all, 5=A lot). Perhaps the mentors successfully persuaded their students when they communicated this message about the relevance of school, particularly in the relationships in which the students were highly satisfied with their mentors. Contrary to initial expectations, no evidence was found for differences in the beliefs and attitudes of the students who had mentors in the formal program and those with mentoring relationships established informally at work. It was expected that a formal program with specific objectives would more likely engender strong work attitudes and student beliefs in the relevance of school. There are a number of possible explanations why these differences were not found. The predisposition and eagerness of the students to a mentoring experience may have been a contributing factor. The present study’s sample was selected from a pool of students who had expressed an interest in working with a mentor through the school district’s program. The students who were not placed in the program may have been predisposed to establishing relationships with adults who had characteristics similar to those targeted by administrators of the formal program. Given the students’ interest in participating in the program, it is also likely that the students who established informal mentor relationships at work would be receptive to the mentor’s influence. If true, this would highlight the importance of student expectations and motivation to participate in a formal work-based mentoring program. In addition to the students’ motivational predisposition to mentoring, another possible reason why differences were not found between the two student groups may be the underlying motivation of the mentors. Mentoring is based on pro-social behavior, which has been explained from either a social exchange or communitarian perspective (Gibb, 1999). The social-exchange perspective sees pro-social behavior as calculated, i.e., people will behave in this way only if they believe they will get something in return for their actions. The alternative, communitarian view, however, assumes that motivation for this type of behavior lies in an individual’s values. Those who possess values that are consistent with, and support the community at large, will engage in pro-social behavior because it is the right thing to do (Gibb, 1999). It seems likely that this view is most relevant to an adult’s decision to mentor a student either by volunteering through a formal program or establishing a mentor–protégé relationship informally. In adult-to-adult mentoring relationships, as protégés advance in their organizations, mentors will receive certain career-related benefits (Kram, 1983 and Kram, 1985; Wright & Wright, 1987). It is unlikely, however, that these same organizational benefits will accrue to mentors with student protégés, since, in all likelihood, the student will not stay with the mentor’s employer. Thus, mentors who either volunteer to work with students in a formal program or do so on their own may possess similar values, values that are indicative of an ‘other-focused,’ rather than a ‘self-focused’ orientation (Allen, Poteet, & Burroughs, 1997). It is likely that the motivational basis for mentors who voluntarily mentor youth at their places of employment may be the same as those who volunteer to work with a student in a formal, structured program. Similar to the importance of the student’s motivational predisposition, the mentor’s predisposition to the relationship may also be an important factor in the success of an adult–youth relationship. This study reaffirms the potential importance of mentoring urban youth, whether it occurs through a formal program or spontaneously at the work place. Recently, some organizational scholars have suggested a shift in focus away from dyadic mentoring relationships to the study of mentoring networks in and outside organizations (Higgins & Kram, 2001). However, youths in general, and many urban youths from lower socio-economic backgrounds in particular, have limited opportunities to develop such diverse networks of relationships. Thus, facilitating the establishment of positive relationships with adult mentors at work may continue to be an important strategy for school districts and organizations interested in students’ school-to-work transitions. Furthermore, the relation found between the present study’ outcomes and the protégés’ satisfaction with their mentors implies that the implementation of a work-based, adult–youth mentoring programs should also focus on the quality of the mentors. The use of longitudinal data in this study contributes to the validity of its findings. However, the sample size and the attrition from time 1 to time 2 serve to limit the extent to which the study’s results may be generalized to populations outside the current sample. Despite the fact that data were collected over time, care must be exercised before drawing a causal relationship between the type of mentoring experiences to student attitudes and beliefs. As with other studies of this nature, sample selection bias may exist, as the predisposition of the students to enroll in the program may have affected both the pre- and postmeasures of the outcomes (Burtless & Orr, 1986). This possibility is somewhat mitigated by the fact that no significant group differences were found in the outcomes at the start of the academic year and that all the students in the sample had expressed a similar desire to work with a mentor.