An Evaluation of Specialist Mentoring for University Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Mental Health Conditions

Rebecca M. Lucas, Alana I James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mentoring is often recommended to universities as a way of supporting students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and/or mental health conditions (MHC), but there is little literature on optimising this support. We used mixed-methods to evaluate mentees' and mentors' experiences of a specialist mentoring programme. Mentees experienced academic, social and emotional support, although subtle group differences emerged between students with ASD and MHC. The quality of the mentee-mentor relationship was especially important. Mentors also reported benefits. Thematic analysis identified that effective mentoring requires a tailored partnership, which involves a personal relationship, empowerment, and building bridges into the university experience. Mentoring can effectively support students with ASD and/or MHC, but this is highly dependent on the development of tailored mentee-mentor partnerships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-707
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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