Effects of Perceived Attitudinal and Demographic Similarity on Protégés' Support and Satisfaction Gained From Their Mentoring Relationships


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ellen A. Ensher, College of Business, Loyola Marymount University, 7900 Loyola Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90045. E-mail: eensher@lmumail.lmu.ed.


The purpose of this study was to examine how perceived attitudinal similarity (measured as similarity in general outlook, values, and problem-solving approach) and demographic similarity operationalized as similarity in race and gender, affected protégés' support and satisfaction from their informal mentoring relationships. Scandura and Katerberg's (1988) 3-factor scale of mentor functions was used to measure vocational, psychosocial, and role-modeling support. Participants were 144 protégés from diverse backgrounds (54% female; 54% non-White). Perceived attitudinal similarity was a better predictor of protégés' satisfaction with and support received from their mentors than was demographic similarity.