Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


John Kellmayer

Committee Member

James Pann


mentoring, mentorship programs, at-risk youth, identity development, Chickering, female


This dissertation explores a mentoring program’s impact on an at-risk African American female within the framework of Chickering and Reisser’s Seven Vectors of Identity Development (SVID). The study employed a single subject case study design to examine the effectiveness of the mentoring intervention in fostering positive growth and personal development. The participant, Shay (pseudonym), an 18-year-old student, faced various academic and personal challenges, making her a suitable candidate for the study. The research was conducted through qualitative methods, utilizing semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis.

Chapter 3, Methodology, elucidates the rationale for selecting qualitative research as the appropriate approach, enabling deeper understanding of the subject’s experiences and perspectives. A description of the subject and instruments used in the study was given to enhance the transparency and validity of the research process.

Results, presented in Chapter 4, highlight the substantial positive changes observed in Shay’s development across all seven vectors after undergoing the mentoring program. The mentoring intervention, in sum, enhanced Shay’s competence, emotional regulation, autonomy, interpersonal relationships, identity formation, sense of purpose, and integrity. The findings underscored mentorship’s significance in supporting the personal development of at-risk youths as they transition to adulthood.

Chapter 5 presents an in-depth discussion and interpretation of the findings. The mentoring program’s positive impact on Shay’s development was evident, signifying the importance of mentorship in fostering positive development. The discussion also addresses the study’s limitations, providing insights for future research to enhance the understanding of mentoring program efficacy and factors influencing outcomes. The implications of this research are offer valuable insights for educational institutions, community organizations, and policymakers. Implementing effective mentoring programs can be instrumental in supporting at-risk youths, empowering them to make positive life choices, helping them to reach their full potential.

In conclusion, this dissertation contributes to our knowledge about how mentoring programs can impact the development of at-risk youths within Chickering’s SVID. The findings demonstrate the transformative power of mentorship in nurturing competence, emotional well-being, autonomy, interpersonal relationships, identity formation, purpose, and integrity among vulnerable youths. As society strives for inclusive and supportive environments for young people, especially those at risk, mentoring holds promise as a means to enhance their lives while fostering personal growth.

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