College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-9-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Kathryn Grant, PhD

Second Advisor

Jocelyn Carter, PhD


Black youth in low-income communities have a heightened risk of exposure to poverty-related stressors, increasing the risk of poor youth outcomes. Proven moderately effective, youth mentoring programs were created to decrease the risk of negative outcomes and promote positive development. A primary relational experience, the parent – child relationship shapes a youth’s relational history and influences their relational capacity, or ability to connect with a mentor. The mentoring relationship quality (MRQ) is a key determinant in mentoring success. Emerging research suggests youth with moderate relational histories experience the most benefits from mentoring, demonstrating a curvilinear relationship.

This study investigated two research questions: 1) Does parent – child relationship quality predict satisfaction in the mentoring relationship? 2) Is there a curvilinear relationship between parent – child relationship quality and satisfaction with the MRQ, where moderate levels of parent – child relationship quality predict high levels of satisfaction with the MRQ?

Participants of this sample were 20 Black youth between ages 7 and 15. Youth completed measures including Places I Spent Time: Home, measuring parent – child relationship quality and Match Characteristics Questionnaire, measuring satisfaction with the mentoring relationship. Regression analyses were conducted to assess relationships among these variables. Study findings indicate a significantly positive relationship between high parent – child relationship levels and high satisfaction with the MRQ. Unique patterns emerged from curvilinear analyses indicating youth with moderate levels of parent – child relationships actually reported the lowest satisfaction with the MRQ. Study findings overall provide additional evidence for a relationship between parent – child relationship quality and satisfaction with the MRQ. Additional research is needed to better understand the nature of this relationship. Implications of the unexpected findings in this study are discussed in relation to cultural protective factors and environmental risk predictors that must be examined to facilitate the development of mentoring programs serving Black youth.

SLP Collection


Included in

Psychology Commons