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Cultivation of Natural Mentors to Strengthen Resiliency in Youth: A Program Theory of Youth Initiated Mentoring (YIM)

Authors:

Levi van Dam ,

Dr. Levi van Dam, researcher at the University of Amsterdam and founder of the Dutch YIM foundation, NL
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Sarah Schwartz

Dr. Sarah Schwartz, assistant professor of psychology at the Suffolk University, Boston, USA, US
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Abstract

Natural mentoring relationships are supportive relationships that form organically between youth and important non-parental adults (e.g., friends, teachers, athletic coaches, extended family members) from within their existing social networks. These relationships are thought to foster positive youth development and buffer against risks, particularly those associated with the transitions that characterize adolescence. Providing youth with the opportunity to identify and engage a non-parental adult from their social network in a mentoring relationship constitutes the Youth Initiated Mentoring (YIM) approach. The current article describes the aim and context of this new approach, its target population, the intended individual and societal outcomes, and how these outcomes may be achieved. We also describe various YIM program models addressing universal, Dr. Levi Van Dam researcher at the University of Amsterdam and founder of the Dutch YIM foundation 4 Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice – 2020 – Volume 29, Issue 1 Cultivation of Natural Mentors to Strengthen Resiliency in Youth selective, and indicated preventative approaches. Our goal is to provide social work practitioners with the tools to carry out their work and to provide direction for researchers to test hypotheses about YIM.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18352/jsi.623
How to Cite: Dam, L. van . and Schwartz, S., 2020. Cultivation of Natural Mentors to Strengthen Resiliency in Youth: A Program Theory of Youth Initiated Mentoring (YIM). Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice, 29(1), pp.3–20. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/jsi.623
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Published on 21 Feb 2020.
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