Mentoring Improves Self-Efficacy, Competence, and Connectedness


  • Patricia L. Westerman Bowie State University
  • Sarah M. Stout Bowie State University
  • Holly A. Hargreaves George Washington University


Mentoring among various parties at a therapeutic horseback riding program provides enhanced self-efficacy and competence among the children with special needs who are served by the program.  These riders are mentored by other children, by volunteers, and by their riding instructor following Bandura's (1977) self-efficacy model.  The riders and the volunteers who participate in their training exhibit increases in competence, connectedness, and self-efficacy by virtue of their experience being nurtured and supported by mentors.

Author Biographies

Patricia L. Westerman, Bowie State University

Patricia L. Westerman, Ph.D. is Professor, Psychology Department, Bowie State Univesity (240-432-3252;

Sarah M. Stout, Bowie State University

Sarah M. Stout is an alumna of Bowie State University, where she majored in psychology and was President of Psi Chi (

Holly A. Hargreaves, George Washington University

Holly A. Hargreaves, M.A. is a doctoral student at The George Washington University and Co-Director of Training in the American Psychological Association's Section on Animal-Human Interaction: Research & Practice of Division 17 - Counseling Psychology (




How to Cite

Westerman, P. L., Stout, S. M., & Hargreaves, H. A. (2013). Mentoring Improves Self-Efficacy, Competence, and Connectedness. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 18(3), 37–46. Retrieved from