Several media sources are already reporting on the long-term study conducted University of Bonn. It is a study on the role of the social environment in the development of prosociality. The results are remarkable: the study proves how tremendously effective mentoring is for children.
Since September 2011, a group of researchers headed up by Prof. Armin Falk of the University of Bonn has been studying the extent to which social inequality affects personality development in children. Falk and his colleagues also wanted to know to what extent an intervention as a one-year mentoring program would change this personality development. Over 600 children from different socio-economic backgrounds participated in the multi-part research project.
The results are quite remarkable. Not only do they show for the first time the causal relationship between the social environment and personality development in children, but they also provide concrete evidence for the tremendously positive effects that a randomly generated variation in the social environment can have. For a randomly selected group of children from a low socio-economic background, this variation came through participating in the mentoring program “Balu und Du” (“Baloo and you”). For one year, the children in the program spent several hours each week with a volunteer mentor.