Nurturing the hope of youth in care: The contribution of mentoring.

Hope has long been viewed as important to individuals attempting to overcome obstacles. Overall hope is the combination of one’s appraisal of capability and determination to achieve goals (Agency) and identifying viable routes to reach them (Pathway) (Snyder, 1994). The main goal of this study was to examine the incremental contribution of mentoring to hope among youth on the verge of leaving care above and beyond related personal characteristics and placement history. The sample included 148 adolescents in residential care in Israel who had adult mentors (ages 16—19). Results showed that lower levels of parental education and being in a welfare residential placement were associated with decreased levels of hope. Mentoring length and various mentoring functions (“role model,” “parental figure,” and “independence promoter”) were found to have a significant contribution to the prediction of hope above and beyond associated individual and placement variables. Based upon these findings, residential care leaders should recruit and select mentors for longevity, and train mentors to serve as role models and parental figures who focus on independent living in order to influence hope among youth who are about to leave care. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)