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The development and validation of the Mentoring Functions Measure




Rechlin, Alexandra M., author
Kraiger, Kurt, advisor
Gibbons, Alyssa, committee member
Cleary, Anne, committee member
Chermack, Thomas, committee member

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This study developed and provided validation evidence for a new measure of mentoring functions, the Mentoring Functions Measure (MFM). Existing measures of mentoring functions suffer from flaws that the present study aimed to reduce or eliminate. This study had three primary goals: (1) to develop a new measure of mentoring functions, (2) to provide reliability and validity evidence for the measure, and (3) to connect the measure to socioemotional selectivity theory, a theory of aging. In the first phase of the study, 98 items were created based on dimensions that had been used in previous research. These items were reviewed by subject matter experts (SMEs), after which the number of items was reduced to 78. In the second phase, the measure was further refined after being completed by 487 participants in the United States through Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk); all participants were currently in an informal mentoring relationship and working at least part-time. Through item analysis, exploratory factor analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis, the MFM was refined and finalized. The MFM consists of 12 items, demonstrates good reliability evidence, and is comprised of three factors: Career functions, Trust & Acceptance functions, and Relationship functions. Construct validity evidence was obtained, with the MFM generally correlating more strongly with the MFQ-9 than with transformational or paternalistic leadership. Criterion-related validity evidence was also established, with MFM subscales predicting affective outcomes (job satisfaction and life satisfaction), health outcomes (burnout), and cognitive outcomes (personal learning). The MFM was expected to demonstrate known-groups validity evidence, using socioemotional selectivity theory; younger protégés were expected to prefer a mentor who exhibits more career functions, and older protégés were expected to prefer a mentor who exhibits more psychosocial functions. However, no significant differences were found in mentor preference based on protégé age. Due to the scale development best practices used to develop the MFM, as well as the reliability and validity evidence established in this study, the MFM can be used by both researchers and practitioners to measure mentoring functions.


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