Prevalence and sources of mentoring relationships experienced by female undergraduate merchandising management students Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/td96k532n

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  • Previous research suggests that little is known about female mentoring relationships, particularly among undergraduate students. The purpose of the present study was to investigate mentoring relationships experienced by female undergraduate merchandising management students. The investigation included the overall prevalence of mentoring experiences, the specific kinds of mentor roles, the prevalent sources of mentoring, and the relationship between class standing and the overall prevalence of mentoring. Survey methodology was used. The sample included females enrolled in the merchandising management program at a western university (n=102). Their ages ranged from 18 to 38 years with a mean and mode age of 21 years. The Student Experiences Questionnaire used for the present study included three sections: (1) the Professional Socialization Scale (PSS) developed by Stenberg (1988) to identify and measure the prevalence of mentoring and specific mentoring roles; (2) a parallel scale designed by the researcher to identify the sources of mentoring; and (3) demographic and exploratory items in order to provide direction for further studies. Statistics used to analyze the data included percentages, means, factor analysis, and ANOVA. The study included five objectives with four hypotheses. It was hypothesized there would be a low level (2.00) of overall mentoring. Contrary to this hypothesis, the mean for overall prevalence was higher than predicted. It was hypothesized that informal and least powerful mentor roles would be the most experienced. A factor analysis was performed on the matrix of intercorrelations among the items on the PSS. It was not possible to test Hypothesis 2 because the factor analysis did not generate mentor roles that could be described according to influence or power. It was only possible to identify factors according to the specific helping actions that took place. The relationship between class standing and overall prevalence of mentoring was tested. Results showed no differences among freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. There was no formal hypothesis formed regarding mentoring sources. Friends were the mentoring source with the highest frequency. Employers were the second most frequent mentoring source followed by professors, and advisors. The most important findings of the study were: the absence of specific mentor roles previously identified in the literature and friends and employers as the most frequent source of mentoring. Specific helping behaviors were identified from a factor analysis of items on the PSS that loaded highest on the factor analysis. Friends and employers were identified as the most frequent sources of mentoring.
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