Anna Flitner

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis



First Advisor

Samuel McQuillin


Having a teacher mentor is associated with several positive outcomes, yet teacher mentors are not distributed evenly among youth, and children who are Black are substantially less likely to form mentoring relationships with teachers. In this study I tested a putative explanatory hypothesis for differences between Black and White children’s access to teacher mentors. Data from Waves I and III from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health were used. Linear regression models were used to predict the access to teacher mentors and a mediational analysis was conducted to determine the effect of school safety on the relationship between race and teacher mentor access. Results indicate that students from higher SES backgrounds and those with parents who have greater educational attainment are more likely to have a teacher mentor. Furthermore, Black students are less likely than White students to have a mentor, and school safety mediates that relationship. The results suggest that increasing school safety in schools, especially predominately Black schools, may improve access to teacher mentors.