Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology


Dakari Quimby

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Risk and Resilience Lab  
Advisor: Maryse Richards, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 443
Email: dquimby@luc.edu   

Masters Thesis Title

Positive Peer Pressure among African American Youth and the Roles of Ethnic Identity and Gender

Masters Thesis Abstract

Objective: The current study examined whether peer pressure, can promote positive youth development among Black American adolescents living in high-risk neighborhoods. Method: In this study, data were collected during a three-year longitudinal study from a sample of 316 Black American adolescents (M = 11.65 years). Variables were assessed using both questionnaires and the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), a time sampling technique. Results: Findings indicated the more positive peer association youth experienced over time, the better outcomes they reported over time. Additionally, a low sense of ethnic identity appeared to account for why some youth experienced a sharper increase in outcomes as positive peer association increased.Conclusions: Future interventions should consider harnessing the ability of prosocial peers to
foster healthy development.

Masters Thesis Committee

Maryse H. Richards and Noni Gaylord-Harden, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title

The Experience of Mentors in a Cross-Age Peer Mentoring Program: Exploring the Helper Therapy Principle

Masters Thesis Abstract

Mentoring programs are becoming increasingly prevalent interventions for promoting positive development in youth. This success has led mentoring to become a popular option for fostering wellbeing among youth from high risk environments. Although effective when their relationships last, adult mentors have had difficulties maintaining their mentoring relationships due to other responsibilities and cultural disconnect. Due to their increased availability and the significant influence of peers among youth, older adolescents serving as cross age peer mentors have been recognized as available option to circumvent the issues of adult mentoring relationships. Cross age peer mentoring refers to an older high school aged youth serving as a mentor for a younger, middle school aged mentee. Although not as widely studied as adult mentoring, this relationship has been found to have a beneficial effect for both the mentor and mentee. The current study seeks to better illuminate this bidirectional benefit by focusing on one half of the relationship; the experience of cross age peer mentoring by mentors. Despite the established reciprocal effects, mentors have received little attention within the peer mentoring literature. This is an important untapped area of study as peer mentoring interventions have the potential to have an expansive impact affecting both older and younger youth. More information is now needed regarding the process of mentoring as it relates to mentors. The current study will examine how the helper therapy principle, a theory explaining the positive development experienced by individuals who take on a helping role, relates to mentors’ perception of the mentor-mentee bond. As the connection between mentor and mentee is considered the foundational component of a mentoring relationship that facilitates growth in key outcome areas, gaining a better understanding of the factors that contribute to or result from this bond can help interventions maximize the benefit for participating peer mentors.

Masters Thesis Committee

Maryse H. Richards