The influence of mentors on Hispanic college women



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Texas Tech University


The extant literature on mentoring has linked successful mentoring relationships with academic success (Cardoza, 1991; Stake & Noonan, 1985). Academic success is of crucial importance especially as it pertains to minorities and minority women because of their significant underrepresentation in colleges and universities across the nation.

The current study examined the influence of natural mentors on the decision of Hispanic women to attend college. This study explored which characteristics (e.g., age, gender, and ethnicity) render nonparental adults as significant adults in adolescents' lives. Self-described achievement motivation, ambitiousness, and perceived problem-solving abilities were examined, and the presence or absence of these personal characteristics were related to the presence of a mentor to see if such characteristics can develop outside the presence of a mentoring relationship.

The results of the study confirmed that natural mentors are an integral part of adolescents' lives, specifically as they pertain to their decision to attend college. Seventy percent of the respondents reported having a natural mentor whom was influential in their decision of academic pursuit. The reported mentors' gender, age, ethnicity, profession, and education level were also examined. It was concluded that self-described achievement motivation, ambitiousness and perceived problem-solving abilities were not related to having or not having a natural mentor.