Unfortunately, nearly half of volunteer mentoring relationships terminate prematurely, often because the volunteer no longer wants to or is able to serve (Herrera et al., 2007). Here are some reasons that relationships fail. If you are beginning to feel overwhelmed or frustrated, seek support from the program to improve the relationship and avoid an early termination.

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Mentor/youth characteristics.

Research suggests that some baseline mentor and youth characteristics are predictive of match length, including mentor age and mentee risk status characteristics (Grossman & Rhodes, 2002; Grossman et al., 2012).

Mentees feeling unsupported.

In other instances, adolescents may terminate relationships in response to what they perceive as unsupportive, disappointing, or overly demanding mentors.

Mentors feeling frustrated.

Others may become frustrated with logistical challenges, or discover that the investment required is too much, particularly if their mentoring responsibilities are interfering with work and family obligations (Freedman, 1993; Omoto & Snyder,1995).

Mentors feeling overwhelmed.

Volunteers can become easily discouraged if the experience does not match their expectations (Spencer, 2007). Some volunteers may be disappointed by what they perceive as lack of improvement or appreciation on the part of their