College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-11-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Bernadette Sanchez, PhD

Second Advisor

Susan D. McMahon, PhD


According to Rhodes’ model of youth mentoring, one of the ways through which positive outcomes are achieved is through identity development. This study considered ethnic-racial identity (ERI) in the lives of college students of color and how that identity is promoted through natural mentoring relationships. The focus of this study was on ethnic-racial private regard, a component of ERI. This study examined: (a) the associations among mentor ethnic-racial similarity and support and student ERI and (b) the relationships among mentor ethnic-racial similarity and support and student psychological well-being. The sample included 266 college students of color who completed an online survey and reported having a natural mentor. ERI private regard did not play a mediational role in the associations between similarity and support and well-being, but it was found that higher ethnic-racial support from mentors was significantly related to higher ERI private regard and self-esteem in students. To date, few studies have examined both mentor ethnic-racial similarity and support on ethnic-racial identity with a college sample. The findings contribute to the gap in literature on ethnic-racial support and similarity in mentoring relationships and help to identify potential means for promoting well-being while embracing young adults’ ERI.

SLP Collection


Included in

Psychology Commons