Mentoring Women Graduate Students: A Model for Professional Psychology

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Abstract

There is much discussion about the importance of mentoring women graduate students but not an equal amount of practical research-based guidance about how best to do this. This article summarizes a mentoring model that was developed using a pilot survey of 55 women graduate students throughout the United States, followed by grounded theory research by conducting qualitative interviews with 8 eminent women psychologists. It augments current research on mentoring to provide an integrated set of hypotheses about the theory and practice of mentoring; an operational definition of mentor and mentoring; overarching assumptions about mentoring; strategies for forming, structuring, managing, and maintaining mentoring relationships; and the roles and functions of the mentor, the mentee, and the relationship. It describes examples of mentoring practices specifically for use with women mentees and discusses how mentoring relationships may end or change as they mature. While the mentoring model was developed based on research with women, many of the tenants can be applied to both men and women.

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