Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Gabriel Kuperminc

Second Advisor

Timothy Brezina

Third Advisor

Wing Yi Chan

Fourth Advisor

Christopher Henrich

Fifth Advisor

Michael Karcher


Research suggests that the specific types of match interactions play a significant role in the development of mentor relationships, but these studies have been largely correlational. This study systematically examines relational and goal-directed interactions to better understand how these interactions contribute to high quality, long-term mentor relationships using the Theoretically Evolving Activities in Mentoring (TEAM) framework. The sample included 223 matches from a southeastern Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) community-based mentoring program in which mentors provided self-report data across multiple time points during the first 6 months of the relationship. Results support that relational interactions occurring early in the match have a stronger association with match persistence, whereas problem-focused, take on added importance as the match becomes established. Further, results suggest that mentor characteristics may be more important than mentee characteristics in determining match interactions and changes in these interactions over time. This study enriches the mentoring literature by providing empirical support for the three dimensions of the TEAM framework. The findings are discussed in terms of relevant implications for research, theory and practice.