نقش جنسیت در شکل گیری روابط مشاوره جوانان و مدت زمان مشاوره
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|8381||2008||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 72, Issue 2, April 2008, Pages 183–192
The role of gender in shaping the course and quality of adult–youth mentoring relationships was examined. The study drew on data from a large, random assignment evaluation of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBSA) programs [Grossman, J. B., & Tierney, J. P. (1998). Does mentoring work? An impact study of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Evaluation Review, 22, 403–426], and focused on variables associated with youth’s relationships with their parents and mentors. At baseline, girls reported significantly lower levels of parental trust and higher levels of alienation from their parents than boys. Nonetheless, girls’ mentoring relationships lasted significantly longer than those of boys. Moreover, girls were less satisfied than boys in short- and medium-term relationships, but were more satisfied than boys in long-term relationships. Similarly, girls in long-term relationships rated mentoring as more helpful than either the boys or the girls in the shorter-term relationship groups. Particularly in light of the heightened mistrust and alienation from parents at baseline, and the role of improved parent relationships in mediating the effects of mentoring, the protective aspect of longer-lasting mentoring relationships may be particularly salient for girls.
Surprisingly few studies have focused on how gender might shape youth mentoring relationships. Studies examining gender differences in outcomes among program participants have been mixed (DuBois et al., 2002 and Tierney et al., 1995), and few studies have looked at differences in relationship quality or length. Consequently, key questions regarding the relative importance of gender-specific approaches to training, supervising, and programming remain unanswered (Bogat & Liang, 2005). In this study, we explore gender differences in young adolescents’ approaches to and satisfaction with mentoring relationships. 1.1. Gender and relationships Findings from diverse disciplinary perspectives shed light on how gender might affect adult–youth mentoring relationships. Scholars have observed, for example, that males and females tend to respond differently to helping relationships, with women placing relatively greater value on interpersonal support and intimacy than men (Canary & Dindia, 1998). In a meta-analysis, Eagly and Crowley (1986) found that men offered and responded to more instrumental, heroic and chivalrous forms of helping, while women offered and responded to more social, nurturing and caring forms of helping. These patterns can be traced to childhood, where girls tend to forge more intense emotional connections and show higher levels of both verbal expressiveness and non-verbal sensitivity (Brody, 1985). Different theoretical frameworks have been proposed to explain these differences, most of which point to how gendered contexts, hierarchies, and socialization patterns shape early behavior (Bem, 1974, Brody, 1985, Chodorow, 1978 and Gilligan, 1982). Taken together, these differences might affect mentoring relationships, including their duration and perceived importance and helpfulness (Kram, 1985). 1.2. Gender and mentoring cross contexts Ragins (1999) has argued that gender is a consideration in work-based mentoring relationships for much the same reason. In particular, because females, as a group, have less power, confront more sexism, and are perceived as more vulnerable than males, their relationships with mentors often serve more psychosocial roles (Ragins & Sundstrom, 1989). Indeed, several studies have shown that male mentors tend to provide more instrumental and career support, whereas female mentorships are often characterized by more emotional support (Allen et al., 2006, Burke et al., 1993, Noe, 1988, Ragins and Cotton, 1993 and Sosik and Godshalk, 2000). Allen and Eby (2004), for example, surveyed nearly 400 mentors and noted this gender difference in support provision. Female mentors may be more comfortable conforming to gender expectations in providing support, as they may sense that their mentees need emotional support. Likewise, Sosik and Godshalk (2000) found that female–female mentoring relationships offered a greater level of friendship, counseling, and personal support than did other gender combinations. Such differences may cause the relationships to take on greater meaning and importance to women. It is also reasonable to predict that a more psychosocial approach to relationships will be more enduring, with social roles and satisfaction deepening as relationships grow in influence (Burke et al., 1993 and Kram, 1985). Studies of student–faculty mentorships have also detected these gender-specific patterns. Male and female faculty members tend to differ in their mentoring styles, with females providing more emotion-focused assistance than males (Liang et al., 2002 and Tenenbaum et al., 2001). Moreover, female students place relatively more emphasis on their advisors’ life-work balance and interests and rate their female faculty mentors as more important to their professional development than do males (Erkut and Mokros, 1984 and Gilbert, 1985). Researchers have noted such gender differences among younger students as well, with school-aged girls receiving relatively more support and relatively less criticism and instruction support (Reddy, Rhodes, & Mulhall, 2003). Teachers often rate their relationships with female students as closer and less conflictual than those with their male students (Birch & Ladd, 1997), a difference that is readily perceived by students (Hughes, Cavell, & Wilson, 2001). Interestingly, Goodenow (1993) found that associations between perceptions of teacher support and positive outcomes were higher for girls than for boys, suggesting their relatively greater importance to girls’ adaptive functioning. 1.3. Gender in youth mentoring programs Taken together, these findings suggest that, across a broad array of mentor-protégé contexts and configurations, gender shapes the functions and importance of relationships (Bogat and Liang, 2005 and Hamilton and Hamilton, 2004). Gender differences may also affect the underlying processes by which mentors affect youth’s outcomes. Specifically, for both sexes, youth mentoring relationships have been assumed to lead to improvements, at least in part through their positive effects on youth’s perceptions of parental relationships (Karcher et al., 2002, Rhodes et al., 2002 and Rhodes et al., 2005). By serving as a sounding board and providing a model of effective adult communication, mentors can help children and adolescents better understand, express, and regulate both their positive and negative emotions. Such experiences appear to generalize, enabling youth to interact more effectively with their parents (Rhodes, 2005). Yet, throughout early adolescence, males and females differ in the ways that they renegotiate parental relationships and manage the tension between connection and greater autonomy (Grotevant & Cooper, 1985). Mother–daughter relationships have been characterized by greater closeness than mother–son relationships (Flannery, 1991), but also by higher intensity conflict (e.g., Almeida, Chandler, & Wethington, 1999), which may heighten negative feelings among adolescent girls toward their mothers (Trees, 2002). These difficulties may be especially common among girls in mentoring programs, many of whom are from single-parent homes and are referred by their mothers (Grossman & Tierney, 1998). Whereas a single mother might seek a male role model for her son, a different set of circumstances might underlie the referral of her daughter. Perhaps the mother is struggling to effectively connect with her daughter. Troubled mother–daughter relationships, in turn, sometimes compromise the ability of girls to establish caring relationships with other women, complicating the early stages of the mentor-youth relationship and rendering the girls more vulnerable to distress in response to terminations. Such observations are consistent with research on gender development, which has underscored the role of social connectedness as both a protective and a risk factor for adolescent girls (Batgos & Leadbeater, 1994). For example, Nolen-Hoeksema and Girgus (1994) suggested that the more communal and socially oriented styles of girls might heighten their vulnerability to distress as they face the social challenges of early adolescence. On the other hand, because female mentees tend to experience relatively more conflict with their mothers, mentoring relationships may be particularly helpful and satisfying once they take hold. The processes described above are complex, and in some cases involve changes in the ways that adolescents think about and approach relationships. As such, it is reasonable to assume that the benefits of mentoring accrue over a relatively long period of time (Burke et al., 1993, DuBois et al., 2002 and Grossman and Rhodes, 2002). Since, as noted above, girls face greater struggles in their maternal relationships, we anticipate that successfully cultivated mentoring relationships will be both satisfying and long-lasting. Although qualitative findings have suggested that girls’ relationships with mentors are more enduring than boys (Morrow & Styles, 1995), additional research is needed. Moreover, large, random assignment evaluation of youth mentoring to date (Tierney & Grossman, 2000) did, in fact, yield a scattering of gender differences in outcomes. The current study draws on the same data set, this time focusing on the processes that may underlie these differences.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study sought to examine gender differences in the duration and perceived quality of mentoring relationships. Based on previous mentoring research and informed by theory and research on gender differences in relationships across multiple contexts, we hypothesized that girls’ parental relationships would be more impaired at the time of referral, and that girls’ mentor relationships would outlast those of boys and be more reactive to relationship duration. Hypothesis 1, which predicted that girls would report more difficulties in their parental relationships at baseline, was partially supported. Although there were no gender differences in parental communication, girls reported significantly lower levels of parental trust and higher levels of parental alienation than boy at baseline. This finding has implications for mentoring programs. At least initially, feelings of alienation and mistrust may spill over into the mentoring relationships in ways that undermine the development of satisfactory ties. Mentors who are aware of such difficulties, and can interpret initial resistance in this light, may be more persistent. The findings might also shed some light onto mentoring relationships in other contexts. For example, some women may be drawn to faculty mentors who, over time, can help compensate for unsatisfying maternal ties (Larose, Bernier, & Soucy, 2005). Since the girls in the study were slightly older (12.4 years) than the boys (12.2 years), a difference that was statistically significant, it is possible that age is an alternative explanation for a lower level of trust and a higher degree of alienation on the part of girls. It may not be gender per say, but increasing age during early adolescence, that leads to parental difficulties. Age, however, was not strongly correlated with the parental relationship variables. Nonetheless, it will be important to consider the effects of age in future studies and, more generally, consider how mentees’ changing feelings toward their parents affect the development and course of mentoring relationships. Consistent with Hypothesis 2, girls’ mentoring relationships outlasted those of boys, with average relationship duration of 11.4 months for girls and 10.3 months for boys. Although few empirical studies have examined gender differences in relationship duration, these trends are consistent with qualitative observations and might help to explain why, across nearly every setting, female mentorships tend to take on more expansive, psychosocial functions than males. As Kram (1985) has theorized, longer relationships provide more time and opportunities for a range of mentoring functions to emerge. In order to establish this link, however, additional research is needed, particularly with regard to work-based mentoring. Indeed, although some studies have found that longer duration mentorships tend to be more psychosocial in nature, others have found stronger associations with career functions (Allen and Eby, 2004, Burke et al., 1993 and Fagenson-Eland et al., 1997). Similarly, qualitative work by Spencer (2007) has underscored the emotional closeness and deep psychological connections that are sometimes forged in male’s youth mentoring relationships. Consistent with Hypothesis 3, for both boys and girls there was a non-significant trend towards an increase in relationship satisfaction, as reflected by the full YMRQI scale scores, from short- to medium-term relationships, and from medium- to long-term relationships. Girls were less satisfied than boys in short- and medium-length mentoring relationships, but more satisfied in longer-term ties. In addition, females in long-term mentoring relationships reported significantly greater levels of mentor helpfulness than both males and females in short-term relationships, and the overall trends in the data suggest that girls’ perceived helpfulness increases over time, whereas boys’ plateaus after medium-term relationships. Although it is difficult to conclusively identify the direction of the associations (i.e., duration could lead to satisfaction and/or low satisfaction could cause early terminations), these findings are consistent with previous work which has underscored the importance of relationship duration in youth mentoring (Grossman & Rhodes, 2002). An equally important consideration, however, may be whether relationships are continued for the full duration of the expectations that were originally established, even if these are for a considerably shorter period of time (De Ayala and Perry, 2005 and Larose et al., 2005). It seems likely, moreover, that the amount of time needed for satisfactory mentoring to occur also depends on other factors, such as the characteristics and needs of the youth, the mentor’s skills and background, the frequency of contact during the relationship, and the specific outcome(s) under consideration. Although researchers have yet to establish the optimal duration for gains to be made and maximized during the mentoring process, relationships may be especially rewarding when they continue over the course of multiple years (Klaw et al., 2003, Kram, 1985 and McLearn et al., 1998). Taken together, these findings are consistent with research on gender development, which has underscored the role of social connectedness as both a risk and a protective factor for adolescent girls. Particularly in light of the heightened mistrust and alienation from parents at baseline, and the role of improved parent relationships in mediating mentoring effects (Rhodes et al., 2002 and Rhodes et al., 2005), the protective aspect of longer-lasting mentoring relationships may be particularly salient for girls. Given the potential of supportive relationships to help adolescents transcend parental difficulties, caseworkers should work closely with matches to move them beyond the initial challenging stages of relationships. Of course, it remains possible that relationship duration is simply a proxy for unmeasured factors such as a generally more negative approach to relationships. The fact that boys and girls also differed in their sensitivity to relationship terminations, however, suggests that gender is at play in the associations. The collection of data from a large, national sample of adolescents over time (1.5 years) confers confidence in the precision and generalizability of the findings. Nonetheless, the mentor relationships were all situated within the context of a single youth mentoring program, and as such the pattern of findings may not apply as well to other, short-term or less formal mentoring interventions. Ideally, the study should be replicated with other samples of adolescents and volunteers in other types of interventions, and with youth at different developmental stages. In addition, the data were collected a decade ago within the context of a one-on-one community based program, and therefore may not be fully applicable to the types programs and relationships that are being more recently forged. Indeed, under pressure to reach expansion goals, many programs have relaxed volunteer requirements in ways that have diminished the intensity and length of adult–youth matches (Rhodes & DuBois, 2006). Finally, future studies should move beyond adolescent self-reports to include data from observations, school records, teachers, case managers, and mentors. Finally, this research cannot differentiate whether the findings were the result of the youth’s gender, the mentors’ gender, or some combination of both. It may be the case, for example, that women’s approaches to termination are a contributing factor to girls’ heightened levels of dissatisfaction in shorter-lasting matches. Yet, because this program did not match male mentors with female mentees, a balanced research design that crossed mentor and youth gender is unfeasible. Natural mentoring relationships would, however, be a context for making such comparisons. Overall, our findings shed light on how gender might influence the development and course of mentoring relationships. Programs and volunteers should be sensitive to potential difficulties in the mother–daughter relationships, and how they might impede closeness and satisfaction in the early stages of the mentoring relationship. This knowledge could prevent mentors from exiting mentoring relationships prematurely. Since the mentees’ satisfaction increased over time, mentors should be supported in developing their mentoring relationships, and instructed that it may take time for their mentees, especially females, to forge trusting ties.