Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Gabriel Kuperminc

Second Advisor

Laura McKee


Group mentoring programs aim to foster supportive relationships with and receive constructive feedback from mentors and peers. Given the power of peer influence to promote adaptive and harmful outcomes, it is important to evaluate the role of peer influence on youth behavior in group mentoring. This study examined whether a history of negative behavior among mentor group peers exacerbated individual participants’ behavior problems. A multi-level regression analysis was used to explore group-level influence on participant school suspensions and truancy using school administrative data records and mentee questionnaires. The effect of exposure to peers with a history of problem behaviors on both outcomes did not reach statistical significance. Neither quality of mentor relationship nor group climate moderated the effects of exposure to problem behavior on study outcomes. The results suggest that grouping youth with a history of poor attendance and suspensions did not inherently increase risk of truancy and suspensions.