Specific Facets of Relationships

Scale: Mentor Support for Racial/Ethnic Identity

What it measures:

  • Youth perceptions of the mentor’s support for their racial/ethnic background, culture and identity.

Intended age range: 10- to 14-year-olds, but items also appear appropriate for older adolescents.

Brief description: This instrument consists of 6 items developed for a mentoring program for girls of color, although items also appear relevant for boys. Sample items are: “My Big/mentor is respectful of my racial/ethnic background and culture,” “My Big/mentor makes me feel proud of my racial/ethnic background and culture,” and “My Big/mentor helps me learn new things about my racial/ethnic background and culture.” Youth respond on a 4-point scale: Not at all true, A little true, Pretty true, or Very true.

Rationale: Very few existing instruments focus on issues of culture and race within a mentoring context. This measure was chosen because of its theoretical grounding in positive youth development and critical race feminism for girls of color (i.e., how society organizes itself along intersections of race, gender, and class), its use with girls of color in a mentoring program, and promising evidence of reliability and validity.

Cautions: This instrument was developed as part of a study with predominantly African American and Latina girls and has not been widely used. Thus, evidence for reliability and validity is limited to this group and has not been tested with boys of color or different race/ethnicities.

Special administration information: When administering, references to “Big” can be substituted with “mentor.”

How to score: Each item is scored from 1 (Not at all True) to 4 (Very True) with one reverse-scored item (i.e., “My Big/mentor seems uncomfortable talking to me about my racial/ethnic background and culture”). The total score is the average across items.

How to interpret findings: Higher scores indicate more mentor support for the mentee’s racial/ethnic identity.

Access and permissions: The scale is available for non-commercial use with no charge and is made available here.

Alternatives: None recommended.


Citation: Sánchez, B., Pryce, J., Silverthorn, N., Deane, K., & DuBois, D. L. (in press). Do mentor support for ethnic/racial identity and mentee cultural mistrust matter for girls of color? A preliminary investigation. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

More in this category: « Multi-dimensional Unidimensional »

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