Mentoring and the Spiritual Well-Being of Late Adolescents

By Cannister, Mark W. | Adolescence, Winter 1999 | Go to article overview

Mentoring and the Spiritual Well-Being of Late Adolescents


Cannister, Mark W., Adolescence


ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible impact of faculty mentoring on the spiritual well-being of late adolescents. The sample consisted of randomly chosen students in their first year at a Christian liberal arts college in New England. Students in the experimental group participated in the freshman seminar program (small classes with seminar leaders/mentors), while those in the control group did not have the freshman seminar experience. Students in both groups were administered a self-assessment survey in September of their freshman year and again in May to determine if there was any change in their spiritual well-being and to explore their perceptions of mentor-student interactions. The findings revealed significant differences between the two groups. In addition, the three aspects of mentoring were positively correlated with the two components of spiritual well-being.

Religious faith in the college years can be tenuous. In 1957, Jacob found a continuous rise in the religious values of college students as they progressed toward graduation. In contrast, some 30 years later, Southerland (1988) found that college students were moving away from conservative moral values. Presently, the pendulum may be swinging back to greater religiosity.

In The Critical Years: In Search of Young Adult Faith, Parks (1986) notes that, with the transition from high school to college, students begin to reduce their dependence on authority figures. They increasingly think for themselves; wholesale acceptance of others' ideas diminishes. Despite their greater independence in matters of faith, Parks suggests that students can benefit from an interpersonal relationship in which they are challenged and supported: "This is a fitting time for the mentor, guide, coach, or sponsor. Mentors anchor the vision of the potential self. They...exercise both cognitive and affective appeal, offering both insight and emotional support" (p. 86). Further, Parks states that mentoring at this time of life may be most effective in fostering mature spirituality when it occurs in a group or community framework. Hence, it was hypothesized here that small group seminars with faculty mentors would have a positive effect on the spiritual wellbeing of college freshmen.

MENTORING

Mentoring can be divided into three categories: career, academic, and developmental. Career mentoring is concerned primarily with job advancement. While some personal development may occur, the focus is on obtaining skills and mastering the organizational power structure. Academic mentoring focuses on the educational needs of the individual student and involves one-on-one instruction. Developmental mentoring considers more general aspects of personal growth. People emulate those whom they perceive to be like themselves or whom they desire to become like (Erkut & Mokros, 1984), and developmental mentors act as role models.

The Teaching Mentor

Daloz (1986) combines the functions of the academic mentor and the developmental mentor to produce the "teaching mentor." Daloz points out that teaching mentors are interested not only in conveying knowledge, but also in having students experience "the phenomena" of the journey itself. For Daloz, the teaching mentor is a guide along this journey, supporting, challenging, and providing vision for the student.

Support. Supporting a person who is in the midst of change is essential. The teaching mentor validates the student's effort to grow, as well as offers the security needed to take the next step in the journey. Further, an essential element of the supportive role is the provision of structure. Daloz notes that for freshmen, who have recently left the extremely structured high school environment and joined the far looser college community, clear expectations, specific assignments, and short, achievable tasks are important. Structure may be reduced as students take on greater decision-making responsibilities. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mentoring and the Spiritual Well-Being of Late Adolescents
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.