The goal of this study was to examine the contribution of natural mentoring to the improvement of life skills among youth in care in core areas of education, employment, and avoidance of risk behaviours while controlling for personal characteristics and placement history. The sample includes 174 adolescents in residential care in Israel. Results showed that mentoring duration and mentoring functions including mentor as “role model,” “parental figure,” and “independence promoter” significantly contributed to the prediction of the three life skills above and beyond control variables. This study highlights both the array of meaningful roles mentors play in youth's development of life skills and identifies important practice implications regarding the mechanism by which mentoring relationships contribute to the resilience of adolescents.
- life skills
- residential care