Relationship quality and the mentoring of aggressive, high-risk children

Timothy A. Cavell, L. Christian Elledge, Kenya T. Malcolm, Melissa A. Faith, Jan N. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


We used data from a randomized clinical trial to examine the degree to which relationship quality predicted outcomes for aggressive children in two different mentoring programs. Data were available for 145 aggressive children in Grades 2 and 3. Children were blocked by school and randomly assigned to PrimeTime (n=75) or Lunch Buddy (n=70) programs. PrimeTime combined community-based mentoring with child-focused skills training and consultation for parents and teachers, and mentors were extensively trained and supervised. Lunch Buddy was a stand-alone, school-based mentoring program that involved lunchtime visits and a different mentor each semester. PrimeTime children rated their mentors as more supportive than did Lunch Buddy children. Relationship conflict predicted changes in teacher-rated externalizing problems. Ratings of relationship quality interacted with treatment in predicting changes in parent-rated externalizing behavior for PrimeTime children only.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-198
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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