The positive psychology of mentoring: A longitudinal analysis of psychological capital development and performance in a formal mentoring program

Document Type


Publication Date



© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Although there is substantial support for the relationship between mentoring and work performance, empirical research has yet to fully explore the plausible positive psychological explanatory mechanisms of this relationship. This four-year study examines the effects of mentoring on protégés' psychological capital (PsyCap; a higher-order psychological resource that includes hope, efficacy, resilience, and optimism) and performance outcomes (formal performance appraisals) over time, in the context of an existing formal organizational mentoring program. PsyCap is examined as a mediator in the relationship between mentoring and performance. Utilizing 115 mentor-protégé pairs, results support the effectiveness of the mentoring program in developing PsyCap and enhancing performance 1 year later in three cohorts of protégés, even after controlling for preprogram performance. Furthermore, PsyCap is supported as a full mediator between mentoring and performance. This is the first empirical study to explore this relationship, and one of the few mentoring studies to collect data over multiple time periods.

Publication Title

Human Resource Development Quarterly

This document is currently not available here.