Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology (MA)

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Timothy Cavell

Committee Member

Alex Dopp

Second Committee Member

Jacqelyn Mosley


This study explores whether the parents or guardians of youth participating in community-based (CBM) and school-based (SBM) mentoring programs differ in their level of family stress, economic adversity and perceived social and community support. Participants were 131 parents of youth in either CBM (n = 79) or SBM (n = 52) programs sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBS-Canada). Parents completed an online survey that assessed demographic characteristics and involvement in BBBS-C programs. Additional measures assessed family stress, economic adversity, perceived support (interpersonal, community), and reasons for wanting a mentor. Parents of youth in CBM matches were less likely to be married and had fewer adults but more children in the home relative to parents of youth in SBM matches. As expected, CBM parents reported greater pursuit of a BBBS mentor and were more involved with BBBS mentors and program staff than SBM parents. CBM and SBM parents did not differ significantly on reports of family stress, economic adversity, or perceived support. For CBM parents, a top reason for wanting a mentor was the desire for their children to have new experiences; for SBM parents, top reasons included seeking academic support for their children and because one of their children had a disability. Discussed are the research and practice implications of these findings.