The Measurement Properties of Mentoring Relationship
Quality Scales for Mentoring Programs
Kathy Nixon Speechley
Published online: 23 April 2013
Society for Prevention Research 2013
Abstract The measurement properties of two new scales
designed to measure global and engagement mentoring rela-
tionship quality (Global Mentoring Relationship Quality Scale
and Quality of Mentoring Relationship Engagement Scale)
were examined among 272 mentors, 491 children, and 554
parents participating in Big Brothers Big Sisters community
mentoring programs across Canada. Results demonstrated
their unidimensionality, moderate convergent validity, good
external validity, and weak-to-moderate reporter concordance.
Longitudinal analyses demonstrated good predictive validity
of mentor and parent mentoring relationship quality scales with
respect to predicting mentoring relationship status.
Keywords Mentoring relationship quality
Adult-to-child community mentoring programs such as Big
Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) have been shown to have posi-
tive effects on children’s health and social well-being (for
meta-analyses, see DuBois et al. 2011; Eby et al. 2008). At
the crux of understanding how mentoring relationships work
is the concept of mentoring relationship quality (MRQ).
Research has pointed towards MRQ as being one of the
fundamental components associated with positive child out-
comes (Herrera et al. 2000, 2007;Rhodes2005; Rhodes et al.
2005; Parra et al. 2002; DuBois and Neville 1997). MRQ has
also been found to be associated with other variables including
sustainability of the mentoring relationship (Parra et al. 2002).
Despite the fundamental importance of MRQ in under-
standing the efficacy of mentoring programs, relatively little
research has been conducted on the development and valida-
tion of its measurement. MRQ has commonly been
operationalized as mentor–child closeness (Herrera et al.
2000, 2007; Parra et al. 2002). However, theory suggests that
it involves multiple components including global (i.e., emo-
tional “bond” between mentor and child) and engagement
(i.e., action-oriented support between mentor and child) traits
(Nakkula and Harris 2005). Some empirical work has exam-
ined a few global and engagement traits of MRQ ( Cavell et
al. 2009;Zandetal.2009; Karcher et al. 2005;Rhodesetal.
2005). However, there is a paucity of research that compre-
hensively examines MRQ using multiple items measuring
global and engagement traits from the perspective of mentors,
children, and parents. It is paramount to measure these com-
plementary facets of MRQ because together they capture not
only how participants feel butalsowhatitisthattheydo in
the mentoring relationship that contributes to MRQ.
This manuscript reports the measurement properties of
two new scales designed to encompass global and engage-
ment traits of MRQ: Global Mentoring Relationship Quality
Scale (G-MeRQS) and
Quality of Mentoring Relationship
This research was supported in part by the Canadian Institutes of Health
Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article
(doi:10.1007/s11121-013-0392-8) contains supplementary material,
which is available to authorized users.
A. Ferro (*)
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Social
and Epidemiological Research Department,
Suite 200-100 Collip Circle,
London, ON, Canada N6G 4X8
Western University and Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health, London, ON, Canada
K. N. Speechley
Western University, London, ON, Canada
McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Prev Sci (2014) 15:663–673