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Mutual but unequal: Mentoring as a hybrid of familiar relationship roles
New Directions for Youth Development (2010)
  • Julia Pryce, Loyola University Chicago
This chapter employs a conceptual framework based on the relationship constructs of power and permanence to distinguish the special hybrid nature of mentoring relationships relative to prototypical vertical and horizontal relationships common in the lives of mentor and mentee. The authors note that mentoring occurs in voluntary relationships among partners with unequal social experience and influence. Consequently, mentoring relationships contain expectations of unequal contributions and responsibilities (as in vertical relationships), but sustaining the relationships depends on mutual feelings of satisfaction and commitment (as in horizontal relationships). Keller and Pryce apply this framework to reveal the consistency of findings across several qualitative studies reporting particular interpersonal patterns in youth mentoring relationships. On a practical level, they suggest that the mentor needs to balance the fun, interest, and engagement that maintain the relationship with the experienced guidance, structure, and support that promote the growth and well-being of the mentee.
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Citation Information
Julia Pryce. "Mutual but unequal: Mentoring as a hybrid of familiar relationship roles" New Directions for Youth Development Vol. 2010 Iss. 126 (2010) p. 33 - 50
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