Evaluation of a formal mentoring programme in the New Zealand police : a thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Mentoring has been found to be an effective psychosocial buffer to occupational stress (Chao & Walz, 1992; Noe, 1988; Siege1 & Reinstein, 2001). Mentoring provides support for personal confirmation, acceptance, friendship and role modelling (Kram 1985, 1986) The current study was part of an initiative within the New Zealand Police to introduce mentoring as part of a supported induction for new Police Constables into the organisation. The aim was to evaluate the use of mentoring as a psychosocial support in this induction process. Using a Solomon Four Group design the 254 subjects (180 protégé(e)s and 74 mentors) were randomly assigned to four groups. These groups were (i) those who had a pre-test, assigned a mentor and post test (ii) those who had a pre-test and post test (iii) those who had a mentor and a post test (iv) those who had a post test only. Testing included two questionnaires; a Combined Measures Questionnaire – which incorporated six psychometric tests including BDI, BHS, MHI, CMTS, HSCL-21 and ITQ; and a Mentor Relationship Questionnaire. The former was administered at pre- and post- test in accordance with the experimental design while the later [i.e. latter] was only administered at the end of the mentoring programme. There was no clinically significant effect noted in terms of change in psychological well-being or distress for either protégé(e)s or mentors (p > .05). There was a significant effect of mentoring in terms of an increase in intent to quit, F(1,10) = 7.43, p = .02 and a trend toward significance for decreased general distress levels F(1,10) = 4.80, p = .53 for the mentors at the end of the experimental period. These findings are tempered by a small control group (n=2). The main finding of this study was that positive outcomes were reported about the mentor relationship, on the Mentoring Relationship Questionnaire, from both protégé(e)s and mentors. These results were achieved in less than three sessions. From these findings it may be concluded that there is a place for a formal mentoring programme in the induction process of the New Zealand Police organisation.
Police induction, Psychosocial support, Mentor relationship