A Study of a Cross-Age Peer Mentoring Program on Educationally Disconnected Young Adults

swA small body of literature has identified cross-age peer mentoring (CAPM) as an effective mentoring model that is reciprocal in nature, affecting the outcomes of both mentees and mentors. To date, however, much of the attention and research focused on CAPM models have been conducted within school settings and few have described programs with an emphasis on disconnected young adults.

In a recent issue of the journal Social Work, published by NASW Press, researchers published their findings from a recent study of a process evaluation that used qualitative methods to examine the impact of a cross-age group peer mentoring program on educationally disengaged young adults serving as mentors. For mentors, benefits of engaging in the CAPM program included (a) giving back, (b) preventing idleness, and (c) creating a sense of community.

The results suggest that CAPM has the potential to serve as an intervention model for programs working with disengaged young adults. The researchers conclude the article with a discussion on implications for social work practice.


The journal Social Work is a benefit of NASW membership. It is available online or, at a member’s request, in print. Children & Schools, Health & Social Work and Social Work Research are available by subscription at a discounted rate for NASW members, either online or in print. You can find out more about the journals and subscriptions at this link.


  1. This program is delightful. Is this something we should be implementing with juveniles?

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