Our impact on juvenile justice

Big Brothers Big Sisters knows that children who avoid interactions with the juvenile justice system – and violence, drugs, and alcohol - are more likely to succeed. That's why our professional staff members, supporters, families, and advocates support, encourage and champion the relationships between Bigs and Littles. Bigs help teach their Littles right from wrong and help them make good decisions.

The landmark study

Our impact on juvenile justice is evident in research conducted by Public/Private Ventures and published in 1995. When comparing Littles matched with a Big to children waiting to be served by Big Brothers Big Sisters, these researchers found that:

  • Littles were 46 percent less likely to start using drugs.
  • Littles were 27 percent less likely to start using alcohol.
  • Littles were almost one-third less likely to hit someone.

What our alumni say

Our impact on decision-making is felt long after Littles graduate from high school and from our program. In 2009, Harris Interactive conducted an online survey of alumni Littles from across the nation. Among those former Littles:

  • 90% said their relationship with their Big helped them make better choices throughout their childhood.
  • 86% said their relationship with their Big has helped them make better choices throughout their adult life.
  • 76% said they learned right from wrong from their Big.

Research About Big Brothers Big Sisters Programs


Overview of Evidence-Based Mentoring

We don't just trust that our programs have a big impact -- we learn about their impact from independent research and continuing partnerships.

Learn More

The Study

Research shows that our one-to-one mentoring programs have real outcomes for children.

Learn More

Impact on Education

Evidence shows that being matched through Big Brothers Big Sisters can make a big difference in how a child performs in school and how he or she feels about school in general.

Learn More

Impact on Self-Confidence

One-on-one attention from a caring adult role model is a key part of developing self-confidence, and research shows that Bigs help Littles feel more confident in several areas.

Learn More

Other Ways to Get Involved

Whether you get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a donor, potential Big Brother or Big Sister, partner, advocate, or family member, you have the power to change a child's future for the better.