Initial motivation and its impact on quality and dynamics in formal youth mentoring relationships: A longitudinal qualitative study
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This longitudinal qualitative study explores experiences and understandings of the mentoring role in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Czech Republic mentoring programme, using a phenomenological approach. In particular, the study explores mentors’ initial motivation for volunteering and its impact on mentoring experiences, and the quality and dynamics of developed formal youth mentoring relationships. As such, it explores in detail the characteristics and dynamics of helping processes that do or do not mediate mentoring benefits such as provided social supports to children. In addition, it explores the risks and ethical dilemmas associated with formal youth mentoring involvement. It highlights both the risks of the mentoring role and the characteristics of quality that mediate mentoring benefits. Thus, it illuminates the pathways through which formal mentors do or do not become significant adults for children and young people in formal youth mentoring relationships and interventions. It contributes to theory, research and practice with: 1) a longitudinal qualitative methodology that has not been used before, 2) the use of the theoretical framework of Self-Determination theory that has not been applied in a similar context to date, 3) findings in relation to detailed pathways of helping processes in formal youth mentoring relationships and interventions. The characteristics and dynamics of 1) controlling, and 2) autonomy supportive formal youth mentoring relationships are identified and subsequent recommendations for future research and practice in formal mentoring relationships and interventions are made.