Scale: Youth Strength of Relationship (YSoR) and Mentor Strength of Relationship (MSoR)

What it measures:

  • A youth or mentor’s perceptions of, and experiences in, the mentoring relationship.

Applicable age range: 5- to 21-year-old mentees; Mentors 17 and over (though the items also appear relevant for slightly younger mentors).

Brief description: The youth version of this scale consists of 10 items assessing both positive (6 items, e.g., “My Big has lots of good ideas about how to solve a problem”) and negative (4 items, e.g., “When I am with my Big, I feel ignored”) perceptions of the relationship with their mentor. Youth respond on a 5-point scale: Never true, Hardly ever true, Sometimes true, Most of the time true, or Always true. The mentor version consists of 14 items assessing both positive and negative perceptions of the relationship using two subscales: Affective (10 items, e.g., “I enjoyed the experience of being a Big,” “Sometimes I feel frustrated with how few things have changed with my Little”) and Logistical (2 items, e.g., “It is hard for me to find the time to be with my Little”). Mentors respond on a 5-point scale: Strongly disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, or Strongly agree.

Rationale: The YSoR and MSoR scales were selected because of their brevity and the fact that they capture both negative and positive experiences within the mentoring relationship. Both mentor and youth versions also have demonstrated good reliability for the total scores and associations with match length in a sample of BBBS community-based matches. 

Cautions: Although promising, evidence of reliability and validity is limited to one study.

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

How to score: The mentor version is scored on a 5-point scale from 1 (Strongly disagree) to 5 (Strongly agree). The youth version is scored on a 5-point scale from 1 (Not true at all) to 5 (Always true). Prior to scoring, negatively worded items are reverse scored (items 3, 4, 6, & 8 on the YSoR and items 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, & 13 on the MSoR). The total score is the average of all 10 YSoR items or 14 MSoR items. For the YSoR, subscale scores are computed as the average for the Positive (items 1, 2, 5, 7, 9, & 10) and Negative subscales (items 3, 4, 6, & 8). For the MSoR, subscale scores are computed as the average for the Affective (items 1-4, 6-9, & 11-14) and Logistical (items 5 & 10) subscales.

How to interpret findings: Higher scores reflect more positive perceptions of the mentoring relationship.

Alternatives: The Relationship Quality Scale (Rhodes et al., 2005) is an earlier version of the scale that was revised to become the YSoR (see link in Citations below). 

Access and permissions: Both the youth-report and the mentor-report measures are available for non-commercial use with no charge and are made available here.

Citations: Rhodes, J. E., Reddy, R., Roffman, & Grossman, J. B. (2005). Promoting successful youth mentoring relationships: A preliminary questionnaire. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 26, 147-167. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10935-005-1849-8

Rhodes, J. E., Schwartz, S. E. O., Willis, M. M., & Wu, M. B. (2017). Validating a mentoring relationship quality scale: Does match strength predict match length? Youth & Society, 49, 415-437. https://doi.org/10.1177/0044118X14531604

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