• Cultures of mentorship: a qualitative investigation of peer mentorship during high school in the US and Japan

      Hankour, Kamil (2022-05)
      Despite the known benefits of mentorship, little is known about informal peer mentoring relationships in the high school context, and even less is known about how those relationships manifest in different cultures. This qualitative study sought to shed light on this topic by administering a survey designed to tap key concepts related to informal peer mentorship in high school to fourteen participants, seven in the US and seven in Japan. Themes relating to instrumentality/socio-emotionality, responsibility, hierarchy, and benefits from these relationships in each sample are discussed, as well as cultural differences and similarities in how these concepts emerge. Japanese participants described relationships that were consistently instrumental or socio-emotional, while American participants often had relationships that shifted between these categories. Regardless of country of origin, most participants preferred to describe their relationships as egalitarian. Responsibilities differed based on the perceived social role of the participant and their mentor within each cultural context. Participants in both samples described a variety of benefits derived from their mentorships. Implications and future directions for this line of research are discussed.