A Sociopolitical Analysis

Updated: Nov 9, 2019

By Alvin Codner:


Rationale/Purpose

What influenced me to do this research is the consistent question that pop up in my head are what if teens of our society were able to teach themselves out of problems in front of them and or become aware of problems and create their own path of learning to solve them. The reason this is an important area of study is because I believe life coaching practices can impact youth development in all areas in a positive way. Based off my experiences, Life coaches and life coaching sessions are usually used by adults (mid 20s and up) who would like development in a range of categories such as career and finance, business, family, relationship, weight loss and fitness, and quite a few more. When it comes to people teens and young adults (mid 20s and below), the “mentor” title is more commonly used than life coaches. The youth are used to being mentored and being told what to do which is less difficult to do than doing the whole life coaching process. With that being a factor, majority of the youth may not want to participate or have full cooperation when it comes to coaching sessions. Also, the average kid/teen is used to being “suggested” on what to do which is less difficult to do than the whole life coaching process. With that being a factor, majority of the youth may not reach their full potential of becoming the true innovators which they have residing within them… because they weren’t given the opportunity to be “innovative.” Even though that may be true, in general, the life coaching is a practice that overall primarily helps humans set and achieves personal goals, while they learn and grow in awareness. These goals are usual consist of a client’s job, personal life or interpersonal relationships.


The reason why this research question is important to me and my practices is because the common consistent questions, that always popped in my head during the past 5 years of working in youth development field, were what if teens of our society were able to teach themselves out of problems in front of them and or become aware of problems and create their own path of learning to solve them. Once I became curious of that is when I pursued a Masters degree in Positive Psychology. Scientifically, positive psychology is the branch that uses scientific understanding and effective intervention to aid in the achievement of a satisfactory life, rather than treating mental illness such as, for example, depression with medicine. As I was pursuing my degree I gained understanding that teens and youth development can benefit from positive psychology because it is a scientific study of the strengths that enables individuals and communities to thrive. The correlation between Life Coaching and Positive Psychology is that both are all about tapping into the human’s potential and bring it out of them so they can be aware of their strengths weakness, where they can improve, and have betting understanding.

The findings in this study will provide the credible answers to the question “What would be the impact of life coaching techniques/practices being implemented in a mentor-ship program?”


Literature Review


The literature based around youth development is vastly supported by the findings of research in mentoring youth programs. According to (1992) historically, the term “Mentor” came from a significant figure in the Homeric legend of the Trojan War. During the Trojan War, Mentor was in charge of taking care of Telemachus and Penelope (the King of Ithaca’s infant son and wife). To a key extent Mentor was held accountable not only for Telemachus’s education, but for the molding of his character, wisdom of his decisions, and the clarity and exactness of his purpose. Fast forwarding to present time, mentor-ship has the exact same qualities and impact on the youth around the world. The literature in regards of life coaching displays that researchers are consistently proving more techniques and ways that life coaching practices can increase the personal development of not just adults but the youth as well.


Youth Enrichment Programs


Youth enrichment programs all consist of improving the qualities of the youth in various categories such as education, personal development, career development, etc. A well known type of enrichment program is a mentoring program. These mentoring programs are created as well as placed in different demographics and are directed to specific needs all around the world. In Effects of a Ubiquitous Mentoring Program on Self-Esteem, School Adaptation, and Perceived Parental Attitude, a action-research study conducted by (Lee, Kim, Park, & Bejerano, 2015), they shed light on how effective their mentoring program is upon elementary students from low socioeconomic status families in South Korea. In Exploring the Link between Mentoring Program Structure & Success Rates, a study lead by (2012), they created a low-cost intervention mentoring programs for at-risk youth situated in the juvenile justice system. In Men’s sheds and mentoring programs: supporting teenage boys’ connection with school, a study organized by (Wilson, Cordier, & Gillan, 2014), they conducted a study on a inter-generational mentoring program based on shared construction projects, specifically targeted at teenage boys who are considered at risk in Australia. In A longitudinal assessment of the effectiveness of a school-based mentoring program in middle school, a study coordinated by (Nunez, Rosario, Vallejo, & Gonzalez-Pienda, 2013), they displayed the effectiveness of their mentoring program on middle schools located in a urban school district in the north of Portugal.

All of these researchers and their studies have proven to show that the mentor-ship programs all have positively impacted the youth of all different demographics. All findings from these studies displayed he youth who participated in the mentoring programs obtained a major extent of personal development satisfaction whether it dealt with education, social skills in school environment, and goal attainment. The findings (Nunez et al., 2013, p. 19) showed that the mentoring program was effective. The students who participated in the academic mentoring program increased their SRL (Statistical Relational Learning) competences to meet school demands better than students from the comparison group. The findings from (Lee et al., 2015, p. 11) displayed there was a significant difference in level of family self-esteem and social self-esteem before mentoring compared to after completion of the mentoring program. The results of (Miller et al., 2012, p. 14) study showed the frequency of meeting between matched pairs of mentees and mentors was positively correlated with positive outcomes and the duration of mentoring relationships was also positively correlated with youth success. Wilson, Cordier, and Gillan findings from their study depicted that the teenage boys who participated in the mentoring program derived a great deal of personal satisfaction and social inclusion through service-led project (Wilson et al., 2014).

These researchers along with their studies have proven the importance and the need of these youth enrichment programs. There are more studies that have proven the increase of youth development around the world and shown consistent results of why mentoring programs placed in different demographics are needed.


Mentoring


When people hear the term “mentoring” the first vision thought of in the mind mostly looks like adults teaching the youth about a certain subject within life. By dictionary definition (Morse, 2014, p. 776), mentor is a wise and or trusted advisor or guide. Mentors are usually skilled and or have significant experience in a certain area in which up and coming youth consistently have struggles on accomplishing or being satisfactory of the status quo. As for the youth, the status quo in education usually deals with maintaining an above C grade average, suffice attendance in school, adequate behavior throughout school, and things of that nature. What most elementary, middle, and high schools do is either create or hire in-school and after school programs (youth enrichment programs) to increase the learning and social skills of the students who attend their institution.


The typical qualified mentors for young students are tutors, college students, teachers, older siblings, and parents. That gives the institution to create or hire after school or in-school programs to the diverse demographic need of the student body. The pros of mentoring are endless. According to (2013), a five year study sponsored by the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization found that children with mentors; were more confident and had fewer behavioral problems, four times less likely to become bullies than those without a mentor, and increased belief in their abilities to succeed in school, and felt less anxiety related to peer pressure. Even though there and plenty of pros, there is one con that always sticks out. The youth are used to being mentored and being told what to do in which may weaken their problem solving skills and simply want to always receive solutions from others with little work applied. Mentorship, throughout all these research studies, deals with the mentor doing the most work and the mentee absorbing the knowledge as much as possible. The con about the mentoring process is that not all students are mentor learners. Mentor learners are ones who can relate to who the mentor is and how their teachings are taught. To solve that issue, which is my theory, is to apply life coaching techniques while mentoring. No matter what type of life coaching session, whether it’s a group or one on one session, it accommodates the audio, visual, and kinesthetic learners.


Life Coaching


What if teens of our society were able to teach themselves out of problems in front of them and or become aware of problems and create their own path of learning to solve them? Life coaching practices can impact youth development in all areas in a positive way. When it comes to people ages 20 and below, the mentor title is more in common than life coaches. As stated in the mentoring section, the youth are used to being mentored and being told what to do which is less difficult to do than doing the whole life coaching process. With that being a factor, majority of the youth may not want to participate or have full cooperation when it comes to coaching sessions. Most think mentoring and life coaching is the same practice but it is actually the complete opposite. Life coaching is branched off of positive psychology. According to (2004), scientifically, positive psychology uses scientific understanding and effective intervention to aid in the achievement of a satisfactory life, rather than treating mental illness such as, for example, depression with medicine. Teens in education and youth development as a whole can benefit from positive psychology because it is a scientific study of the strengths that enables individuals and communities to thrive. The correlation between Life Coaching and Positive Psychology is that both are all about tapping into the human’s potential and bring it out of them so they can be aware of their strengths weakness, where they can improve, and have betting understanding.

The lack of life coaching researches in the past is what created the life coaching statistics of today. In the life coaching field, we know what the positive impact life coaching has on adults but it became a difficulty to bring into institutions of the youth due to lack of evaluations and findings that life coaching practices can work on teenagers and or younger. Zander Ponzo, who is a well known Canadian educator, was one of the first to bring up this dilemma for life coaches. In the 1980s is when life coaching truly began and spread as an rapidly growing industry in businesses but back then Ponzo referred life coaches in education as counselor coaches. Ponzo (1977) first talked about the counselor coach in schools, but there did not seem to be any research studies evaluating coaching with school students. However, according to (2005) in April 2003 the South Dakota School Counselors Association in America hosted a pre-conference session on “Life coaching: New opportunities for school counselors.”

When comparing the research methodologies and findings of life coaching studies and mentoring studies, life coaching results tend to have more substance on what and how the student has improved. In LIFE COACHING WITH STUDENTS, a study established by (Campbell & Gardner, 2005), they displayed significant amount of methods and results to assess the effects of life coaching on high school students as compared to the amount depicted in Men’s sheds and mentoring programs: supporting teenage boys’ connection with school, (Wilson et al., 2014) study. Both studies were based on the transitioning to adulthood while being high school students. Both studies covered research of the students learning and social improvement or lack thereof prior and after the action research. The difference was that (Campbell & Gardner, 2005) produced more results due to the fact that in life coaching, students have to be 100 % cooperative in the sessions because they are the one finding the solution and achieving the goals from a personal aspect. All the life coach is doing is creating awareness and guiding and asking powerful questions to guide their goal planning and setting. Students in the mentoring programs are usually taught everything and most are pre-determined work throughout the whole mentoring process created by the mentor.

As quoted from the results in Purposes and Approaches of Selected Mentors in School-Based Mentoring, a collective case study by (Onwuegbuzie, Bustamante, Garza, Nelson, & Nichter, 2013, p. 14), “Mentors are experts of the mentoring process, with little program training.” I quote that statement not to belittle mentorship but to create the awareness of how much more skill it takes to be a life coach as well as how effective it can help mentoring practices. Life coaching would only enhance everything has to offer as well as tap into areas of the youth that mentoring can’t do. In (Onwuegbuzie et al., 2013) study, those researchers brought up the thought that believing the idea that working with children makes a personal difference, the idea that working with children is a inner strength-based experience within itself in a spiritually manner per se, and that the idea of mentoring is motivation for working with children has rewards that are self sustaining. I believe that life coaching could only enhance all those areas mentoring already covers and s well as offer more to the youth around the world.


Methods of Data Collection and Analysis


This study was done at a YMCA Development center located in the high poverty and predominately African American area of East Atlanta, Georgia and the 8 participants were randomly selected. Four male students and four female students were selected from of the Leaders in Training Program (L.I.T) at the YMCA center.

The data overall was collected by test, worksheets, personality scales, questionnaires and survey scores based off of program evaluation, educational and environmental problem solving.

For the student participants, the grades and scoring were determined on how fast they finish the problems and how much they get correct and the post test/survey will be weighed based off the average score from the pre-test/survey:


Data Collection Chart for Pre-Test

Student Name


1. Mya Monroe

2. Alaya Sanders

3. Melanie Anderson

4. Delshanee Martin

5. Jaden McKinney

6. Justin Smith

7. Christian Fisher

8. William Brown



Time


1. 16 minutes 20 seconds

2. 16 minutes 43 seconds

3. 15 minutes 34 seconds

4. 17 minutes 5 seconds

5. 11 minutes 5 seconds

6.13 minutes 34 seconds

7. 15 minutes 12 seconds

8. 14 minutes 32 seconds


Score/Grade


1. 17/20 = 85 %

2. 19/20 = 95 %

3. 17/20 = 85 %

4. 19/20 = 95%

5. 12/20 = 60 %

6. 14/20 = 70 %

7. 14/20 = 70 %

8. 16/20 = 80%

Average Time Completed


Min:Secs

15:01


Average Score on Test


80 %


Data Collection Chart for Post-Test

Student Name


1. Mya Monroe

2. Alaya Sanders

3. Melanie Anderson

4. Delshanee Martin

5. Jaden McKinney

6. Justin Smith

7. Christian Fisher

8. William Brown


Time


1. 17 minutes 5 secs

2. 17 minutes 32 secs

3. 17 minutes 54 secs

4. 19 minutes 10 secs

5. 13 minutes 43 secs

6.15 minutes 45 secs

7. 18 minutes 34 secs

8. 16 minutes 41 secs

Score/Grade


Understanding Rate

1. 16/20 = 80 %

2. 19/20 = 95 %

3. 18/20 = 90 %

4. 20/20 = 100 %

5. 14/20 = 70 %

6. 16/20 = 80 %

7. 16/20 = 80 %

8. 15/20 = 75%



Average Time Completed

Min:Secs

17:05


Average Score on Test

83.75 %


Average Rate Of Comprehension

1. 10/10

2. 10/10

3. 8/10

4. 9/10

5. 7/10

6. 7/10

7. 8/10

8. 8/10


Rating Scale 1 – 10


To measure the participant’s benefits of using Life Coaching techniques within the mentoring sessions I used the scales and forms (located on pages 13 - 19) over the 4 week timed period and provide them to participants. In the L.I.T program, the mentors (Mrs. Debra and Mr. Bryan) did their lessons every Tuesday and Wednesday of every week. The duration of a mentor session is 90 minutes to teach their lesson. The topic of the sessions for the duration of this study was entrepreneurship.


To show the difference I observed the sessions for 2 weeks with strictly mentoring and the last two weeks added the life coaching techniques to the mentoring sessions. The mentors using the Life Coaching techniques (Bryan and I) came in throughout the session and or after the session and implement life coaching techniques based off the 4 Core Competencies which are Setting the Foundation, Co-Creating the Relationship, Communicating effectively, and Facilitating Learning and Results. Mostly communicating effectively and facilitating learning and results which deals with the following:

  • Active Listening

  • Powerful Questioning

  • Creating Awareness

  • Designing Actions

  • Planning and Goal Setting

  • Managing Progress and Accountability

  • Direct Communication

Here are the Scales and Forms and Data Analysis used to measure the participants:

Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale


  • The scale ranges from 0-30. Scores between 15 and 25 are within normal range; scores below 15 suggest low self-esteem.

  • This Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale was handed out to the participant three times throughout the study which was once in the beginning, once 2 weeks within the study, and once at the end.

Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale before Study

Student Name


1. Mya Monroe

2. Alaya Sanders

3. Melanie Anderson

4. Delshanee Martin

5. Jaden McKinney

6. Justin Smith

7. Christian Fisher

8. William Brown


Scores


1. 19

2. 22

3. 20

4. 20

5. 13

6. 15

7. 19

8.16

Average Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale Score


18 out of 25


72 %


Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale 2 weeks of Mentoring Only

Student Name


1. Mya Monroe

2. Alaya Sanders

3. Melanie Anderson

4. Delshanee Martin

5. Jaden McKinney

6. Justin Smith

7. Christian Fisher

8. William Brown


Scores


1. 19

2. 23

3. 21

4. 21

5. 13

6. 16

7. 19

8. 17


Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale 2 weeks after Mentoring with Life Coaching Techniques

Student Name


1. Mya Monroe

2. Alaya Sanders

3. Melanie Anderson

4. Delshanee Martin

5. Jaden McKinney

6. Justin Smith

7. Christian Fisher

8. William Brown


Scores


1. 20

2. 23

3. 21

4. 25

5. 16

6. 18

7. 20

8. 17

Average Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale Score


19.88 out of 25


79.52 %


The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire


The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a brief behavioral screening questionnaire about 3-17 year olds.


There all several versions of the SDQ differentiated by the age range. For this study the “s11-17” and t11-17” version was used. The “s11-17” stands for Self Rating ages 11 through 17 and the “t11-17”

stands for Teacher on Student Rating ages 11 through 17


These versions of the SDQ ask 25 attributes, some positive and others are negative. These 25 attributes are divided up between the following 5 scales (5 items per category):


  • - Emotional symptoms

  • - Conduct problems

  • - Hyperactivity/inattention

  • - Peer relationship problems

  • - Prosocial behavior


The SDQ was given to each participant twice; once before the study and after the study was completed.


The scoring of the SDQ is categorized by three sections which are normal, borderline, and abnormal. A score between 0 -15 is considered normal, 16 -19 is considered borderline, and 20 – 40 is abnormal. In this scale, the lower the scale the better score or most normal per se.


SDQ Results before research study:

Student Name

1. Mya Monroe

2. Alaya Sanders

3. Melanie Anderson

4. Delshanee Martin

5. Jaden McKinney

6. Justin Smith

7. Christian Fisher

8. William Brown


Scores

1. 11

2. 8

3. 10

4. 6

5. 17

6. 15

7. 13

8. 10


Follow-UP SDQ Results; after research study:

Student Name


1. Mya Monroe

2. Alaya Sanders

3. Melanie Anderson

4. Delshanee Martin

5. Jaden McKinney

6. Justin Smith

7. Christian Fisher

8. William Brown


Scores

1. 9

2. 6

3. 8

4. 4

5. 14

6. 11

7. 13

8. 9


EXIT SLIPS


There were two exit slips for the participants in the L.I.T program to fill out. After each mentor session is complete, the mentors and I passed out the 1st exit slip which pertained to questions about what they learned and how much understanding they achieved:


Exit Slip 1

(Description)

Name:

1 to 5 things I learned in today’s lesson:

On a scale of 1 to 5, how well did you understand the lesson:

Student Name


1. Mya Monroe

2. Alaya Sanders

3. Melanie Anderson

4. Delshanee Martin

5. Jaden McKinney

6. Justin Smith

7. Christian Fisher

8. William Brown


Scale Rate of Understanding Exit Slip 1

1. 3

2. 4

3. 3

4. 3

5. 3

6. 2

7. 3

8. 4


Average Understanding Rate

3.13 out of 5

62.6 %


We gave the students 5 to 10 minutes to answers. Once those are complete is when we transitioned into a short life coaching session in which they received a life coaching worksheet based on the mentoring topic. Once that worksheet was completed, then the 2nd exit slip was issued for the students to fill out whether they learned more and or had a better understanding of the week’s topic with the life coaching worksheet or whether they feel like they comprehended the lesson the same way during a regular mentoring session:


Exit Slip 2

(Description)

Name:

Do you have a better understanding in today’s lesson after the life coaching practices?

Circle: Yes or No

If yes, name the things you have a better understanding of.

Did you have a better or more understanding the lesson now? If so write down rating, if not circle “Same Feeling”.


Rate 1-5 Or Same Feeling

Student Name


1. Mya Monroe

2. Alaya Sanders

3. Melanie Anderson

4. Delshanee Martin

5. Jaden McKinney

6. Justin Smith

7. Christian Fisher

8. William Brown


Scale Rate of Understanding Exit Slip 2

1. 5

2. 4

3. 4

4. 5

5. 3

6. 4

7. 3

8. 5


Average Understanding Rate

4.13 out of 5

82.6 %


Results


The findings throughout this research study were more positive than negative. If you look thoroughly through the methods of data collection and analysis section, you will find in each post results there was positive improvement to the participant’s scoring/grades. In the Pre/Post test surveys, the 8 participants their average scored 3.75 % more on the post test than the pretest going from a 80 % grade to an 83.75 % grade. The life coaching techniques did not increase their speed to complete the test. The L.I.T participants completed their post test, on average, 2 minute and 4 seconds slower than their pre test.


In the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale, the average score for the participants went up 7.52 % on their post Rosenberg scale than their pre scale testing scores. The participants scored significantly higher on the Pre-Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale than after the life coaching techniques were implemented bringing their low C grade average of 72 % to a high C grade average of 79.52 %.


In the pre/post Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire results, there was a slight increase as far as improvement to the participant’s scores from life coaching techniques being implemented in the mentoring sessions. Even though the life coaching techniques did not have a major significant effect on the L.I.T participants as a whole on this scale, it still showed their scores to be higher after the life coaching was implemented in the program.

As for the exit slips and scale of understanding, after the Life Coaching Techniques were implemented, 3 participants understanding rate weren’t affected at all but to the other 5 participants increased their score rating significantly. On average, the rating grade went from a low D average of 62.6 % to a B average of 82.6 %.


Conclusion


In conclusion, the findings of this study provided answers for both research questions as well as brought out trends that were quite interesting during observation. In this case study, you can see that all students in the L.I.T program were great kids to begin with but after that life coaching techniques were implemented they all tend to score better grades, be more creative, more well-rounded, and have better behavior overall. As you can see in the data analysis and results, the participants usually higher in the scales and evaluation forms after the life coaching techniques were implemented. That alone shows why life coaching techniques have a positive impact in their learning skills. The life coaching techniques increased the grades and scores significantly in all post evaluations. Life coaching techniques added to a mentor program does increase the student in a positive way and also gives the mentor another tool to use throughout their mentoring sessions. This is a practice I strive to provide to the organizations throughout the City of Kissimmee and Central Florida as a whole.

References


Campbell, M. A., & Gardner, S. (2005). A pilot study to assess the effects of life coaching with year 12 students. In M.Cavanagh, A.M. Grant & T. Kemp (Eds.). Evidence-Based Coaching, Vol 1. Retrieved from http://eprints.qut.edu.au/2294/1/2294.pdf


Lee, K., Kim, M. J., Park, T. H., & Bejerano, I. L. (2015). Effects of a ubiquitous mentoring program on self-esteem, school adaptation, and perceived parental attitude. Retrieved from https://www.sbp-journal.com/index.php/sbp/article/view/4754


Linley, P. A., & Joseph, S. (2004). Positive Psychology on Practice. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Miller, J. M., Barnes, J. C., Miller, H. V., & McKinnon, L. (2012). Exploring the Link between Mentoring Program Structure & Success Rates: Results from a National Survey. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12103-012-9188-9


Mitchell, M. P. (2013). Mentoring Youth Matters. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-moment-youth/201301/mentoring-youth-matters

Morse, J. M. (2014). Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.


Nunez, J. C., Rosario, P., Vallejo, G., & Gonzalez-Pienda, J. A. (2013). A longitudinal assessment of the effectiveness of a school-based mentoring program in middle school. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0361476X12000513


Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Bustamante, R. M., Garza, Y., Nelson, J. A., & Nichter, M. (2013). PURPOSES AND APPROACHES OF SELECTED MENTORS IN SCHOOL-BASEDMENTORING: A COLLECTIVE CASE STUDY. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260416341_Purposes_and_approaches_of_selected_mentors_in_school-based_mentoring_A_collective_case_study


Ponzo, Z. (1977). BACK TO BASICS: THE COUNSELLOR-COACH. Retrieved from http://cjc-rcc.ucalgary.ca/cjc/index.php/rcc/article/view/1841/1691


Shea, G. F. (1992). Mentoring: A Practical Guide. Retrieved from http://intranet.okstate.edu/staff_development/mentoring/Mentoring_Handouts.pdf


Wilson, N. J., Cordier, R., & Gillan, S. W. (2014). Men’s sheds and mentoring programs: supporting teenage boys’ connection with school. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.fau.edu/ps/i.do?p=ITOF&u=gale15691&id=GALE|A385997323&v=2.1&it=r&sid=summon&userGroup=gale15691&authCount=1



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