Managing Ethical Challenges in Mentoring




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Despite our best intentions, tricky ethical issues can arise in mentoring relationships. Mentors may wonder how to navigate issues around confidentiality, money, appropriate boundaries, when to make a referral, and more. Preparing ahead of time will help them avoid some of the ethical challenges that commonly arise and to know when to ask for support. This course is based on the six ethical guidelines for mentors, which were originally published in an influential APA journal article, “First do no harm: Ethical principles for youth mentoring relationships.” (Rhodes et al, 2013). Each module delves into one ethical principle with case studies.

Sample Skills

Mentors will be able to

  • list the five ethical principles for mentorship relationships
  • apply the five ethical principles in their mentorship relationships
  • recognize and prevent potentials for harm in their mentorship relationships
  • fully support mentees by maintaining consistency and confidentiality in their mentorship relationships


  • Rhodes, J., Liang, B., & Spencer, R. (2013). First do no harm: Ethics in youth mentoring. In D.L. DuBois & M. Karcher (Eds.). The Handbook of Youth Mentoring, Second Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Rhodes, J. E., Liang, B., & Spencer, R. (2009). First do no harm: Ethical principles for youth mentoring relationships. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 40(5), 452-458.