In prevention science, much of the training occurs outside of a formal graduate program and mentorship is invaluable to early-career individuals. A sample of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) membership (N = 97) from a wide range of career levels completed an online questionnaire in spring 2010. Almost 20% identified as mentors, 32% as protégés, and 49% as both a mentor and a protégé. Most mentoring relationships were established in graduate school, but professional organizations such as SPR facilitated nearly one in five mentoring relationships. Qualitative results suggested that participants value their professional organization's support of mentoring and would support initiatives to increase mentoring relationships specifically among SPR members. Although all mentor functions and protégé responsibilities were rated as important, professional support was the highest ranked mentor function and taking initiative the highest ranked protégé responsibility. Additionally, the qualitative results revealed that interpersonal skills and commitment to the mentoring process were seen as key to positive mentoring relationships. We also found that formal documentation of mentoring agreements was rare and a slight preference for a match on gender or ethnicity was observed for protégés from nondominant groups. The discussion includes implications for individuals and implications for promoting high-quality mentoring within professional organizations.
Mentoring early-career preventionists
current views from mentors and protégés