Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Susan Jurow

Second Advisor

Ben Kirshner

Third Advisor

Greg Camilli


This study examined a cross-age peer mentoring program and the ways in which it may serve as a counter-social group to adolescent gang involvement. Two theoretical orientations, a risk factor approach and primary socialization theory, framed this study. The sample targeted three mentoring pairs for three different mentoring relationship quality categories: high, medium, and low. The quality level of the mentoring relationships were determined by the presence and/or absence of positive and negative internal and external indicators. Five methods of data collection were used in this study: (1) observation and audio recording of the enacted mentoring relationships; (2) interviewing participants; (3) surveying participants; (4) collection of school performance data; and (5) collection of program artifacts. Findings indicated that the different quality levels of the mentoring relationships resulted in different communication patterns, engagement strategies, and participation levels.