Same-sex and cross-sex mentoring relationships : toward an understanding of the interpersonal qualities underlying these relationships
Lockwood, Angie Lynn
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Using an interview study design, this study examined mentoring relationships in an effort to identify interpersonal qualities that characterize these relationships. Mentoring dyads were involved in a formal mentoring program at a large organization. Interview responses from 17 protégés representing three sex compositions (i.e., male mentor/male protégé, male mentor/female protégé, female mentor/male protégé) were content-analyzed and 13 themes describing interpersonal qualities emerged as fundamental to relationships with their mentors (e.g., Commitment, Similarity). Findings indicate that the number of protégés who mentioned each theme differed across the sex compositions. In addition, qualitative differences in the content of the themes were revealed across sex compositions. Implications of the findings for mentoring theory are discussed.