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Matthew Dean Stevens is a 2014 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England.

Dr. Stevens, pictured below with his Dissertation Committee at his Defense.


L-R : Dr. Martha B. Straus, Committee Member, Dr. Matthew Dean Stevens, Dr. George Trembley, Dissertation Chair, Dr. William Slammon, Committee Member

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

This study surveyed a group of adult mentors at Big Brothers and Big Sisters program (BBBS) sites to examine variables that affect an adult volunteer's intensity of contact in youth mentoring. This study attempted to expand on research conducted by Clary et al. (1998) and Madia and Lutz (2004). In this cross-sectional design, participants were administered the Volunteer Functions Inventory to learn about their expectations and experiences as mentors. Adult mentors reported on the number of hours of face-to-face contact with their mentee during the previous month. The primary hypothesis is that congruence between initial expectations and actual experience of adult mentors will predict the intensity of contact with a child or adolescent. A regression analysis was used to assess the relationship between volunteer engagement and the discrepancy between initial expectations and actual experience. Secondary objectives involved examining how the relationship between the expectations-experience discrepancy score and intensity of contact are affected by the frequency of match support provided by BBBS case managers. Additional analyses included assessing the relationship between intensity of contact and specific motivational factors, as measured by Clary et al's Volunteer Functions Inventory. Results of all analyses revealed that these variables are not reliable predictors of current volunteer engagement; however, the data did provide a few helpful conclusions. The results suggest that the effects of a discrepancy between a volunteer's expectations and experience on intensity of contact are minimal; however, the wide range in hours of face-to-face contact suggests that some other variables are affecting intensity of contact. Additionally, the frequency of match support, a service provided to all BBBS volunteers, showed no association with the discrepancy score or intensity of contact. It is possible that that restricted range in discrepancy scores masked the effects provided by match support. Lastly, areas for future research include exploring other possible determinants of intensity of contact, using qualitative methods for identifying the effective aspects of match support, and examining if there is a minimal frequency threshold for youths to experience benefits

Comments

Dr. Matthew D. Stevens has been working children, adolescents, and families since 2003. He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Massachusetts and has provided treatment to children and adolescents in many different settings which include in-home therapy, outpatient mental health clinics, specialized therapeutic day school programs, and residential programs. He has also served children, adolescents, and their families through his work as case manager and volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Hampden County, MA. Dr. Stevens has also enjoyed working with adolescent boys as a youth basketball coach.

Currently, Dr. Stevens works for the Key Program in Springfield, MA as a Clinical Supervisor and runs an intensive group home for adolescent boys. He also works as a per-diem crisis clinician and serves as a back-up supervisor for the Carson Center in Westfield, MA.

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