Duration of mentoring relationship predicts child well-being: Evidence from a Danish community-based mentoring program

Anna Piil Damm, Emma von Essen*, Astrid Jæger Jensen, Freja Clara Kerrn-Jespersen, Sarah van Mastrigt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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While a substantial body of literature suggests that lasting community mentoring relationships can have a range of positive effects on youths, little is known about these effects in the Nordic welfare context, where community mentees may have lower risk profiles compared to many previous samples. This study explores how the duration (length) of child mentoring relationships predicts parental perceptions of child well-being among 197 children served by Denmark’s most extensive community-based youth mentoring program. We find that children who have had a mentor for at least one year are perceived to have significantly higher well-being. In contrast, we find no significant differences in well-being between children who had mentors for less than one year and children on a waiting list. Previous research, conducted in primarily North American contexts, finds that longer mentoring relationships substantially improve school behavior and reduce risk taking. Our results add to the literature by indicating that a minimum mentoring relationship duration of one year appears to be similarly important in promoting well-being for youths involved in community-based mentoring programs in a Nordic welfare context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2906
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Child well-being
  • Duration
  • Youth mentoring
  • Humans
  • Adolescent
  • Denmark
  • Child Health
  • Mentoring
  • Child
  • Schools
  • Mentors


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