Date of Award

8-14-2009

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Gabriel Kuperminc - Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Lisa Armistead - Co-Chair

Third Advisor

Chris Henrich

Abstract

The purpose of the current study is determine if the presence of a natural mentor, and/or the quality of relationship within protégé-mentor relationships, predicts the development of Future Orientation (FO) among African American girls living in conditions of risk. A sample of 160 girls of African descent was recruited from 6 elementary and middle schools. An exploratory factor analysis of 19 FO items suggested a 2-factor model consisting of (1) motivation and (2) planning. The model did not support the third expected factor, evaluation. The presence of natural mentors failed to predict concurrent levels of FO. Relationship quality did significantly predict concurrent levels of FO. Post-hoc analyses indicated that the consistent presence of a natural mentor predicted the development of FO. Post-hoc analyses also indicated the relationship quality with one’s, significantly predicted the development of FO among consistently mentored girls. Methodological limitations and implications for future research are discussed.

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