Making a difference

J. P Tierney
January 1, 1995

This 1995 study by Public/Private Ventures of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America program demonstrates positive outcomes for youth participants who were matched with an adult mentor. Researchers studied nearly 1,000 10-16 year olds who applied but were still on a waiting list to receive a mentor; half of these youth were matched, while the others waited. Eighteen months later, the mentored youth showed significantly lower rates of first-time drug use, violent behaviors, and school absenteeism. Participants were more likely to have positive peer and family relations and were less likely to start using alcohol or to assault someone.