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The Impact of a Mentoring Program on the Self-Esteem of College-Age Women

Description: The fact that girls and women suffer a loss of self-esteem disproportionate to boys and men is without argument. There are an increasing number of books, magazine articles, and resource kits being made available to begin to comprehensively address the issue with young girls. However, less effort is being directed toward the older adolescent, the college-age woman. The problem with which this study was concerned was that of determining the impact of a mentoring program on the self-esteem of college-age women. The Multidimensional Self-Esteem Inventory (MSEI) was administered as a pre- and posttest, to 40 sophomore women, 20 of whom were in a control group and 20 who participated in the structured mentoring program. Using the MSEI, it was possible to gain statistically significant data which indicated that the self-esteem of the women could be positively impacted as a result of the mentoring experience. In addition to the instrument, the participants kept journals about their mentoring experience. Therefore, this research was able to report both qualitative and quantitative findings. The findings regarding the control group were not statistically significant for any of the 11 characteristics on the inventory. The findings from the mentored group however, were determined to be statistically significant for 5 characteristics: global self-esteem, competence, lovability, body appearance, and identity integration. From the statistical findings, as well as, from the journal entries it appeared that mentoring is a valuable experience. Also it was determined that there was a pattern to a positive mentoring experience. The women felt that their mentors were individuals in whom they could place their trust, the women felt the mentors could be helpful to them because of the wisdom that comes from life experience.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Higgins, Lynda Kay Burton
Partner: UNT Libraries