Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

Glendon Casto


Glendon Casto


Margaret Dyreson


Joan Kleinke


Dennis Odell


Mentoring has been recognized as an important relationship in a variety of circumstances. This study was conducted for the purpose of determining the perceived benefits or disadvantages of a mentor relationship and identifying characteristics of the relationship. Another objective was to explore to what extent the nature of the mother/daughter relationship functions as a factor that makes the choice of a mentoring pattern more likely.

The study sample consisted of 47 females, 12 graduate students and 35 assistant or associate professors on the faculty at Utah State University. The subjects completed several mother/daughter inventories, a mentoring inventory, and a personality inventory. Twenty subjects were interviewed for a more in-depth exploration of both their mentoring experience and mother/daughter relationship. Subjects were divided into groups based on gender of the person most facilitative of their professional objectives.

The male-mentored, female-mentored, and non-mentored groups were comparable on measures of perceived mother/daughter relationship characteristics and personality variables. The relationship between the score on a mother/daughter attention measure and total mentor score was .29. The Pearson correlations between perceived mother rejection and father love was -.61.

Subjects were categorized as to whether they met the criteria for having had a mentor based on scores on a mentor inventory. Seventy-eight percent of subjects who specified females as most significant to their career met the criteria for having been mentored. Fifty percent of subjects who indicated a male was most facilitative scored high enough to meet the criteria.

A multiple regression model used to predict total mentor score based on perceived mother attention and gender of mentor accounted for 20% of the total variability. An interaction was present between gender of the individual specified to be most significant to the protégé and perceived mother attention. Separate multiple regression equations resulted in a correlation of .53 between mother attention and mentor score when the specified individual was male and .16 when the individual named was female.