Mentors' perceptions of an ongoing health promotion program for adolescent girls


Go Girls! is a group-based healthy lifestyle program that targets health behaviours among adolescent girls through weekly mentoring sessions led by young women (M ± SD age 24 ± 2.35 years).  The aim of this study was to investigate mentors’ perceptions of both program processes and characteristics as well as changes in the adolescent girls’ behaviours and cognitions as a result of participation in the program. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine Go Girls! mentors. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Meaning units (MU) were independently coded by the first two authors. Seven themes inductively emerged from the mentor interviews with descriptive categories (C) within each: 1) Positive Program Perceptions (C=6); 2) Mentor Perception of the Girls (C=5); 3) Characteristics of Mentorship (C=5); 4) Perceptions of the Program Mandate (C=3); 5) Experience with the Program (C=3); 6) Challenges in Program Delivery (C=3); and 7) Suggested Program Adaptations (C=2). There were four commonly mentioned categories (i.e., all nine mentors contributed MUs): General Praise and Enjoyment of the Program (MU= 99), Changes in the Girls After the Program (MU=118), Roles Associated with Mentorship (MU= 98) and Responsibilities Associated with Mentorship (MU= 49) which aligned with the themes of Positive Program Perceptions, Mentor Perception of Girls, and Characteristics of Mentorship, respectively.  Seven mentors contributed to the category of Short Duration (MU=34) within the theme of Challenges in Delivery, and four mentors suggested to Increase the Duration of the Program (MU= 24) within the theme of Suggested Program Adaptations. Findings from this study provide preliminary support for the feasibility and enjoyment of delivering the Go Girls! program as well as observations of program effectiveness and potential areas of improvement.