College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-23-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Bernadette Sanchez, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kathryn Grant, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jocelyn Carter, Ph.D.


This paper used Resiliency theory to examine natural mentoring and coping efficacy as protective factors that may buffer the negative impact of stressors on academic and psychosocial outcomes in urban, low-income, Latino youth. Research has demonstrated that natural mentoring may serve a protective role for youth who are experiencing high levels of stressors, and that coping efficacy may correlate with positive outcomes. The present study used Structural Equation Modeling to test the compensatory and protective factors models of resilience to examine the ways in which stress, coping efficacy and natural mentoring interact to predict a variety of academic outcomes for 422 urban, low income Latino youth.

Results demonstrated support for viewing coping efficacy as a compensatory factor, but do not support viewing natural mentoring as a compensatory factor, or viewing coping efficacy or natural mentoring as protective factors. These results address gaps in the literature on the characteristics of natural mentoring relationships that predict positive academic outcomes, and on the role of coping efficacy in promoting positive academic outcomes.