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McDonald, Steve; Erickson, Lance D.; Johnson, Monica Kirkpatrick; & Elder, Glen H., Jr. (2007). Informal Mentoring and Young Adult Employment. Social Science Research, 36(4), 1328-1347. PMCID: PMC2151739


This study explores the role of informal mentoring (i.e., developing an important relationship with a non-parental adult) in the transition to full time employment among young adults (age 23–28). Multivariate analysis of the Add Health data reveals that mentoring is positively related to the likelihood of full time employment, and the relationship involves both selection and causation processes. Entrance into the world of work facilitates the development of mentoring relationships, especially among youth who identify work-related mentors after adolescence. These relationships have the potential for promoting attachment to the labor force. Mentoring relationships that develop outside of work settings and during adolescence have a positive impact on the odds of full time employment. The receipt of guidance and advice from mentors, as well as access to weak-tied mentoring relationships, teacher mentors, and friend mentors all contribute to the increased odds of employment in young adulthood. However, adolescent mentoring may be less effective among young women than it is among young men.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Science Research


McDonald, Steve
Erickson, Lance D.
Johnson, Monica Kirkpatrick
Elder, Glen H., Jr.