Measuring Mentor & Youth Connectedness

Note – If you have not yet done so, please read the paper on this concept and it’s research base first to understand why this may be a tool you might want to use, and what it’s use could tell you about the effectiveness of mentoring in your program.

How Can You Measure Mentor – Youth “Connectedness

Now that we know the significance of connectedness and an earlier indicator of mentoring success, the next logical question is how can we assess the existence, improvement of, and level of connectedness in our mentees? To understand whether program or mentoring changes are effecting this key factor or not we need to be able to assess and measure it.

Fortunately, there is a free tool available that measures changes in connectedness among your youth participants. The tool is the Hemingway Measure of Adolescent Connectedness and happily, it was designed for use by mentoring programs. The need for such a tool was felt by mentoring researcher Dr. Michael Karcher, the survey’s author. The Hemingway measure emphasizes both the relationship and support-seeking aspects of connectedness, providing good data about how your mentees are engaging with the people and other resources around them and the extent to which they are reaching out to capitalize on and benefit from those connections.

How to Access this Tool Go to Karcher’s web site for this survey, which is at <>. The only restriction is that the survey’s author asks that you send him an anonymous (no individual identifiers) set of your survey responses so that he can continue his research on its use.

Versions of the Hemingway Survey

The youth survey is available in either a long or short version and it is designed for youth in grades 6–12.

A second version is available for college-age participants.

Languages ?    It is available in English, Spanish, French, and Chinese.

Support Materials ?    An implementation manual and scoring guides are also free at the web site.

About the Hemingway Survey
The Hemingway survey consists of four main categories, or scales:

1. being social (friends)
2. being academic (school)
3. being related (family)
4. becoming (self).

Additional scales examine connectedness to reading, neighborhood, and religion. Within these major scales are 15 sub scales that look at specific aspects of the main areas. The list of the 15 sub scales is provided at the end of this document.

Best of all, the Hemingway scale has been fully tested for reliability and validity, meaning that it is a proven tool that is not subject to bias or other assessment problems that can lead to meaningless data. You can trust the data.

Administering the Hemingway Survey

This survey is a pre-post survey that is usually given to mentees when they enter a mentoring program or at the beginning of the school year. Programs then administer it again at the end of the year or when a mentee leaves the program. One other idea is to place the survey within other evaluations you’d do anyway, and do it all at once.

The 15 sub scales of the Hemingway Measure of Adolescent Connectedness

1.  Neighborhood
2.  Friends
3.  Self in the Present
4.  Parents
5.  Siblings
6.  School
7.  Peers
8.  Teachers
9.  Self in the Future
10.  Reading
11.  Youth from Other Cultures
12.  Religion
13.  Romantic Partners
14.  Mother
15.  Father

This wide range of information allows the survey analysis to explore several areas.
1. The specific areas in which youth are well connected – areas mentors can focus on to build increasing individual support, success, and youth self confidence.

2. The specific areas in which youth are well connected and can be expected to start showing more openness to support structures and people, and eventual improvement in other critical outcomes.

3. The very specific areas in which youth might not be as well connected as they should be, allowing for more targeted mentor support.