Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Tammy D. Allen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Walter C. Borman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Douglas Rohrer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kimberly Smith-Jentsch, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Paul E. Spector, Ph.D.


Big Five Personality Traits, mentoring, motivation to mentor, intrinsic motivation, learning goal orientation


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between mentor characteristics (i.e., motivational tendencies, personality traits), mentoring provided, and protégé outcomes. A motivational approach was taken, in the sense that motives to mentor, as well as personality characteristics of the mentor, were considered in regard to their ability to predict the type of mentoring provided and outcomes for the protégé. Specifically, the potential relationships between personality traits (Intrinsic Motivation, Learning Goal Orientation, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Machiavellianism) and mentor motives, as well as the provision of career and psychosocial mentoring, were examined. In addition, the current study examined the ability of mentor characteristics to predict several protégé outcomes.

Ninety-one mentors (i.e., college juniors and seniors) were paired with 91 protégé (i.e., college freshmen) and were asked to meet for a half hour each week for four consecutive weeks. Self-report measures were collected from both mentors and protégés before the mentoring sessions began (T1) and after (T2) they were completed to determine the effect of having a mentor on various outcomes. All mentoring sessions were videotaped so that trained raters could code the type of mentoring behaviors that occurred within a given session. Results were analyzed via correlational analyses, exploratory regression analyses, and hierarchical regression analyses. Individuals who were generally more intrinsically motivated and learning goal oriented reported being more motivated to mentor others for intrinsic satisfaction reasons. Mentors who were more extraverted and agreeable than their peers reported being more motivated to mentor in order to benefit others.

In addition, having a mentor who provided career mentoring reduced school-related stress for a protégé. The key findings of the current study provide support for the view that personality and motivational characteristics of the mentor affect the type of mentoring provided, albeit indirectly in some cases. In addition, it is important to consider multiple sources of mentoring data provided (i.e., mentor, protégé,independent rater) rather than just the protégé's point of view because this will provide a more well-rounded picture of the mentoring relationship, as well as identify potential gaps in perception that may exist between mentors and protégés.