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Prevention of substance abuse in juvenile delinquents: identification of important mentoring processes




Weiler, Lindsey Michelle, author
Zimmerman, Toni, advisor
Haddock, Shelley, advisor
Krafchick, Jennifer, committee member
Youngblade, Lise, committee member
Henry, Kimberly, committee member

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Although effective youth mentoring is associated with desirable changes in vulnerable youth, little is known about its effectiveness in reducing risk for drug and alcohol abuse in juvenile delinquents. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effectiveness of Campus Corps: Therapeutic Mentoring for At-Risk Youth as a substance abuse prevention program and to examine the mechanisms by which mentoring affects positive outcomes. Results revealed that after participating in Campus Corps, youth (n=298, ages 11-18) decreased the frequency of their substance use, as compared to a comparison group (n=135, ages 11-18). Findings also indicated increased autonomy from marijuana use, more appropriate attitudes toward substance use, and decreased frequency of problem behavior and truancy. Treatment benefits, however, were not observed for academic self-efficacy, grade point average, peer refusal skills, autonomy from alcohol use, or perceptions of problem behavior. Additionally, results indicated support for a structural model of mentoring that highlights the importance of program support, mentor efficacy, youth's existing relationships, perception of compatibility, youth support-seeking behavior, mentor-mentee relationship quality, and mentoring focus of activities in affecting change in youth's substance use, delinquency, and academics. Results from this study contribute to the knowledge base about important mentoring processes for juvenile delinquents at risk of substance abuse, which has important implications for mentoring participants, future substance abuse prevention research, program planning, and program implementation.


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substance use
at-risk youth


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