The Perceived Impact of a Mentoring Program for Youth with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

  • Author / Creator
    Spaans, Rianne E.
  • Prenatal alcohol exposure can result in the disability called fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and the deficits most often associated with this are said to last a lifetime. In addition to the deficits directly resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure, individuals with FASD often also face adverse life outcomes including mental health difficulties. Researchers have shown that these difficulties can commence or increase in severity throughout adolescence underscoring the importance of intervention during this developmental period. One approach to intervention with adolescents is mentoring, however, although implemented in the community there is as of yet no evidence to support this approach in work with youth with FASD.
    The purpose of this current study was to examine the perceived impact of a mentoring program on the mental health functioning of youth with FASD according to adolescents as well as their caregivers. BASC-2 data from fifteen adolescents and nine caregivers was used in order to determine the preliminary impact of the program. Even though no significant results were found a positive trend towards improvement was established. Both caregivers as well as adolescents indicated improvements across several aspects of mental health functioning including sense of inadequacy, hyperactivity, aggression, attention problems, depression, sensation seeking, atypicality, etc. Caregivers, in general, rated the youth's mental health functioning as more problematic than the adolescents themselves, which could potentially indicate that the adolescents underreported their mental health difficulties. Overall, these findings indicated that the program may be having a stabilizing effect on the mental health difficulties faced by adolescents with FASD.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.