Peer Mentoring Study - A Success! Print

yema and earthy

The Gamble Institute's (TGI) pilot study of a peer mentoring program for newly released men on parole was a success!  The study, funded by the UCSF School of Nursing, was developed and led by TGI's co-founders, William Grajeda, Yema Lee, Elizabeth Marlow, and Earthy Young.

The purpose of the study was to: 1) assess the feasibility of implementing a peer-based intervention for recently-released men developed using a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach; 2) establish preliminary data on the program’s impact on coping, self-esteem, abstinence self-efficacy, social support, and participation in 12-step programs; and 3) establish a CBPR team of formerly incarcerated adults and academic researchers to develop, implement, and test interventions for this population. 

Twenty men on parole released within the past 30 days took part in the study and completed surveys and individual interviews before and after the study. Program participants received: 1) weekly in-person counseling; 2) transportation assistance; and 3) service referrals. Thirteen men (65%) completed the 60-day peer-mentoring program, and seven (35%) were lost to follow-up due to drug relapse. Study results demonstrated that the peer mentors provided structural support, emotional/social support, and role modeling. The peer mentors eased participants’ transition to the community during the first two months of their release. Findings also revealed that peer mentoring was not available elsewhere in the community and participants viewed it as a valuable resource.

The results from this study were used to develop TGI's current CBPR project, the Street Scholars Peer Mentoring Program. A paper describing the study in detail is under review with the journal, Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action.  We anticipate publication later this year.