Benefits Derived by College Students from Mentoring At-Risk Youth in a Service-Learning Course

Lindsey Weiler, Shelley Haddock, Toni S. Zimmerman, Jen Krafchick, Kimberly Henry, Sarah Rudisill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Service learning is increasingly being used as a pedagogical strategy for promoting the development of civic-mindedness among university students. Despite the use of this strategy, little is known about the benefits derived from specific types of service-learning experiences. Additionally, few notable studies have examined the unique outcomes experienced by mentors of at-risk youth. Therefore, this study examines the civic-related benefits that college students derive from mentoring at-risk youth within a structured, service-learning course. A series of linear regression models were estimated to determine if there were significant post-intervention differences between the treatment and comparison condition for the variables of interest, after adjusting for key background factors and pre-intervention levels of all variables. The results indicated that, in comparison to college students who did not participate in the course (n = 258), college student in Campus Corps, a youth mentoring program, (n = 390) had significantly higher scores at post-intervention regarding mentors' civic attitudes, community service self-efficacy, self-esteem, interpersonal and problem solving skills, political awareness, and civic action. Findings hold important implications for youth mentoring programs and future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-248
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


  • At-risk youth
  • Civic-related outcomes
  • College students
  • Experiential learning
  • Service-learning
  • Youth mentoring


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