Preventing Delinquency in Girls: An Evaluation of the Young Women Leaders Program

Mentoring is one of the most popular yet least understood approaches to supporting positive youth development. Youth-Nex has fostered collaboration among U.Va. faculty to identify the components of effective mentoring. Through the Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP) in particular, we are studying how mentor engagement facilitates social development of college student mentees as well as those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. This program is also testing how training and supervision enhances mentor commitment, capability and engagement. A related effort is being developed to work with youth who are at-risk for school dropout due to community-related norms and stress. Recently, the team has focused on evaluating and enhancing a program to reduce male coercive and violent dating behavior.