UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Peer mentoring of adults with spinal cord injury : A transformational leadership perspective Beauchamp, Mark R. (Mark Robert), 1972-; Scarlett, Louisa J.; Ruissen, Geralyn R.; Connelly, Catherine E.; McBride, Christopher B.; Casemore, Sheila; Martin Ginis, Kathleen A. (Kathleen Anne), 1968-


Purpose: Drawing from the tenets of transformational leadership theory [1], the purpose of this study was to examine the nature of effective peer mentoring of adults with a spinal cord injury (SCI) from the perspective of mentees. Methods: The study utilized a qualitative methodology (informed by a social constructionist approach), involving fifteen adult mentees with a SCI (Mean age = 47.2; Mean time since injury = 14.5 years), in which data were obtained via semi-structured interviews. Results: The results revealed that effective mentoring, as used by mentors with SCIs, closely aligns with the core components of transformational leadership. Specifically, all four dimensions of transformational leadership (idealized influence, inspirational motivation, individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation) as displayed by mentors with a SCI were evident in their interactions with mentees. Participants who perceived their mentors to use transformational leadership behaviours reported increases in motivation, self-confidence, hope and overall well-being, relatedness with their mentor, greater comfort/acceptance of their situation, a redefined sense of their limitations, as well as greater engagement in various life pursuits. Conclusions: Displays of transformational leadership by peer mentors (i.e., transformational mentoring) were reported by mentees to be associated with a range of adaptive psychological and behavioural outcomes. The results have the potential to inform the development and dissemination of peer mentor-based interventions and initiatives.

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