A strong research base supports the efficacy of quality mentoring, including a recent meta-analysis of more than 73 independent mentoring programs that found positive outcomes across social, emotional, behavioral, and academic areas of youth development. In our survey, evidence suggests that young people’s experience confirms this: youth with mentors are more likely to report engaging in positive behavior.
 
Informal and structured mentoring relationships can provide complementary benefits.
Structured mentoring relationships tend to provide more academic support. Youth report that formal mentoring programs provide various benefits, and most commonly offer that they receive advice about school and get help with school issues and/or schoolwork. They also reference to a lesser degree receiving help to address life problems including assistance in getting a job, choosing a career, and getting into college.

Informal mentoring relationships tend to support personal development. Mentees in informal mentoring relationships commonly offer that their mentors provided developmental, more than academic, support. These mentors conveyed advice and encouragement to help them make good decisions and taught young adults how to make the right decisions, follow the right path, and stay motivated.

Impact of Long Term Mentoring Relationship on Youth (1 yr +)
in multiple areas, as compared to impact of mentoring relationships in duration of less than 1 yr.
Young people with longer mentoring relationships report better outcomes than youth with shorter mentoring relationships in areas such as higher educational aspirations (86 percent of young adults in relationships of more than a year versus 77 percent of those in relationships of a year or less always planned to enroll in and graduate from college), sports participation (77 percent versus 70 percent), leadership positions (61 percent versus 50 percent), and regular volunteering (61 percent versus 53 percent).