A dyadic analysis of undergraduate peer-mentoring relationships in the context of a formal peer-mentoring programme at a university residence

Bosman, Vincent Charles (2015-04)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study explores the potential reciprocal growth in undergraduate peer-mentoring relationships in the context of a formal peer-mentoring programme at a first-year university residence from a dyadic relational perspective. The investigation adopted a case study research design to study four dyads from a relational point of view within the context of a formal peer-mentoring programme at a university residence. The study used purposive selection procedures to identify actively participating dyads that could contribute to providing a rich description of the research problem. The study was premised on the assumption that, as a reciprocal relationship, peer mentoring is an effective means of facilitating the transition from school to university, and that universities have a joint responsibility in this regard. At the end of the mentorship year, a semi-structured, in-depth interview covering both the psychosocial and academic issues related to their experiences was conducted from a relational perspective with each of the four dyads to harvest their perceptions and lived experiences as participants. Finally, the interviews were processed and subjected to monadic as well as dyadic analysis to develop an understanding of the internal dynamics of each mentoring dyad. The study addressed a number of lacunae, such as the paucity of theoretically underpinned research and mentoring theories in student-peer mentoring, by introducing into peer-mentoring research the triple theoretical framework of social constructionism (constructing meaning by acknowledging the value of a sense of social interdependence as opposed to individual independence), relational theory (acknowledging the reciprocal nature of the mentoring relationship rather than focussing on the single perspective of the mentor or mentee), and the principles of Ubuntu (an African cultural belief system stressing the value of relational interdependence for existence, the importance of family and extended family support, and spirituality). In exploring the theoretical challenges endemic in peer-mentoring research, the study examined role-model theory, attribution theory, attachment theory, and involvement and social integration theories to abstract and highlight elements pertinent to the field of peer-mentoring research. In addition, the study developed a multi-perspective development process for the selection of theories; a theoretical framework for the analysis and interpretation of the data using the computer program ATLAS.ti., as well as a dyadic process for analysing mentoring dyads both from a monadic and dyadic perspective. Finally, the study recontextualised and expanded the meaning of key concepts culled from the literature for use in future peer-mentorship research. Given the rich perspective this study provided on the reciprocal nature and dynamics of peer mentorship on the theoretical, conceptual and practical levels, the research has made a contribution to raising awareness of this crucial field, which could stem the relentless tide of costly attrition.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie verken die potensiële wedersydse groei in voorgraadse portuurgroepverhoudinge in die konteks van formele portuurgroep-mentorprogramme by ʼn eerstejaar-universiteitskoshuis vanuit ‘n diadiese perspektief. Die ondersoek maak gebruik van gevallestudie as navorsingsontwerp om vier diades binne die konteks van ‘n formele portuurgroep-mentorprogram by ‘n enkele universiteitskoshuis vanuit ‘n verhoudingsperspektief te bestudeer. Daar is van doelgerigte seleksie gebruik gemaak om aktiefdeelnemende diades te identifiseer wat ‘n deeglike beskrywing van die navorsingsprobleem kon lewer. Die studie gaan van die veronderstelling uit dat portuurgroepondersteuning as ‘n wedersydse verhouding ‘n effektiewe manier is om die oorgang van die skool na universiteit te fasiliteer en dat universiteite ‘n gesamentlike verantwoordelikheid het in dié verband. Aan die einde van die mentorskapjaar is ‘n semi-gestruktureerde in-diepte onderhoud wat sowel die psigososiale en akademiese aspekte wat verband hou met hulle ervarings gedek het, vanuit ‘n verhoudingsperspektief met elkeen van die vier diades gevoer om hulle persepsies en belewings op te teken. Uiteindelik is die onderhoude geprosesseer en onderwerp aan sowel monadiese- as diadiese analise om ‘n begrip te ontwikkel van die interne dinamika van elke mentorpaar. Die studie het ‘n aantal leemtes probeer beredder soos die gebrek aan teoreties gefundeerde navorsing en mentorteorieë ten opsigte van portuurgroepondersteuning deur ‘n drievoudige teoretiese raamwerk van sosiale konstruksionisme (om betekenis te konstrueer deur die waarde van ’n sin van sosiale interafhankliheid eerder as individuele onafhanklikheid te erken), relasionele teorie (die erkenning van die wedersydse aard van die mentorverhouding eerder as om op die enkelperspektief van die mentor of persoon wat gementor word te fokus) en die beginsels van Ubuntu (’n kulturele geloofsisteem wat klem lê op verhoudingsinterafhanklikheid vir bestaan, die belangrikheid van familie en uitgebreide familie-ondersteuning en spiritualiteit) aan te wend. In ‘n poging om die teoretiese uitdagings endemies aan die navorsing van portuurmentorskap te beskryf, het die studie rolmodelteorie, gehegtheidsteorie en betrokkenheid- en sosiale integrasieteorieë ondersoek om die elemente eie aan die veld van portuurgroepondersteuning te abstraheer en te belig. Daarby het die studie ’n multiperspektief-ontwikkelingsproses daargestel vir die seleksie van teorieë; ’n teoretiese raamwerk vir die singewingsproses van datahantering deur die rekenaarprogram ATLAS.t.i., sowel as ’n diadiese proses vir die analisering van mentordiades vanuit sowel ’n monadiese- as diadiese perspektief. Laastens het die studie die betekenis van sleutelkonsepte wat in die literatuur voorkom, gerekontekstualiseer en verbreed vir gebruik in toekomstige navorsing oor portuurmentorskap. Gegewe die ryk perspektief wat hierdie studie verskaf op die wedersyde aard en dinamika van portuurmentorskap op teoretiese, konseptuele en praktiese vlakke, het dit ‘n bydrae gemaak tot ’n verhoogde bewustheid van hierdie baie belangrike veld en sal moontlik in die toekoms die groot uitvalsyfer onder studente kan teëwerk.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96816
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