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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.

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Friday, March 6 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
African American Girls’ Reflections on Mentoring Relationships at a Girl Serving Agency

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At-risk, female adolescents are negatively impacted (e.g., personally, vocationally, and academically) by environments that do not foster their unique needs (Blumer & Werner-Wilson, 2010; Bulanda & McCrea, 2013). Research shows that girls can benefit from programs that teach leadership, relationship, and social engagement skills and include a component that allows girls to be a part of a mentoring relationship (Bulanda & McCrea, 2013; Deutsch, Wiggins, Henneberger, & Lawrence, 2013; Hirsch et al., 2000). Although some research has been conducted on the mentoring relationship, more research is needed that focuses on how the mentoring relationship is perceived by the participants as well as the span of the relationship (Deutsch, Wiggins, Henneberger, & Lawrence, 2013), particularly among African American/Black girls. Method Nine African American/Black adolescent females were interviewed to examine how client and staff mentoring relationships are formed and maintained as well as the extent to which they engaged in conversations about gender, ethnicity, and social justice with the staff at the agency. Results The responses to the open ended questions were analyzed by a team of researchers using grounded theory (Charmaz, 2006, 2014). The themes that emerged from the data include 1) reason for attendance, 2) quality of relationships with staff, 3) behaviors of a mentor, 4) qualities of a mentor, 5) factors that support the development of trust, 6) conversations about gender, 7) conversations about race/ethnicity, 8) conversations about social class and 9) whether the girls are mentors. Frequencies of the individual categories and quotes from the girls will be reported. Discussion We will present our findings in light of the importance of mentoring relationships and the ways in which our study fills gaps in the literature regarding the experiences of African American girls. We will also discuss ways in which researchers and clinicians can apply our findings to their own work.

Friday March 6, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm