Evaluated a 15-month social support intervention for mothers of children with JRA. Five mentors (mothers of young adults who have had JRA since childhood) were linked to mothers of children with JRA ages 2 to 11 for purposes of enhancing specific types of social support and overall mental health. The total number of reported mental health symptoms decreased in the experimental group and remained the same in the control group. The experimental group showed greater improvement on all indices of support relative to the control group. Trends in the data consistently favored the experimental group, but differences between the experimental and control group were statistically significant on few of the outcome measures. Results provide tentative evidence for positive effects of mentoring interventions for this population of parents.

Author notes

1This research was supported by a grant to Edward Sills (Principal Investigator) from the Engalitcheff Fund of the Arthritis Foundation, Maryland Chapter. Many of the concepts underlying this project were initially framed through discussions with Laurie Bauman, Ellen Silver, Ruth Stein, and Cheryl Koeber. Many thanks are due the A-PLUS Mentors: Anna Bates, Bette Bohlman, Beth Davis, Pat Robbins, and Nancy Silhan.