Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication


Date of this Version



Journal of College Student Development, Volume 56, Number 7, October 2015, pp. 651-669


Copyright 2015 Johns Hopkins University Press.


Preparing college students to be active contributors to the next generation is an important function of higher education. This assumption about generativity forms a cornerstone in this mixed methods study that examined generativity levels among 273 college students at a 4-year public university. MANCOVA results indicated that college students who mentor demonstrated significantly higher generativity than nonmentoring students. Interviews with 9 mentoring students revealed that, although a “seed of generativity” may have already been planted, their mentoring experience served as a “lab” for learning how to be generative. The integrated findings offer important contributions relative to leadership and social responsibility.