Date of Award

Summer 1991

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Jack E. Robinson

Committee Member

Garrett McAuliffe

Committee Member

John Ritz

Committee Member

Robert Lucking

Committee Member

Donald Myers


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a mentoring program on the personal career development, attendance, and retention of students of the 1991 Teen-Age Parent Program of Skillbuilding (TAPPS). The study was conducted in Chesapeake, Virginia, within the Chesapeake Public Schools Adult Continuing Education Department. The students were matched and randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group (N = 15) received a program of mentoring over and above the regular support services of TAPPS. The control group (N = 15) received only the regular support services. Students in both groups were pretested on personal career development in the fall of 1990 and posttested in the spring of 1991. Data on student attendance and retention were also compiled.

Findings revealed no significant difference with regard to personal career development, attendance, or retention. The study provided quantitative information regarding the use of mentoring in programs for at-risk groups such as teen mothers in a job training program. The results of the study indicate that administrators should not automatically assume that mentoring will be an effective tool in programs for teen mothers. Benefits did accrue to a number of students, however. Positive outcomes for some students suggest that, with careful planning and experimentation, variations on traditional mentoring could provide the means for capitalizing on the expertise and resources of community volunteers to assist parenting adolescents.