Crossing the Age Divide: Cross-Age Collaboration Between Programs Serving Transition-Age Youth


Programs that serve transition-age youth with serious mental health conditions typically reside in either the child or the adult system. Good service provision calls for interactions among these programs. The objective of this research was to discover programmatic characteristics that facilitate or impede collaboration with programs serving dissimilar age groups, among programs that serve transition-age youth. To examine this “cross-age collaboration,” this research used social network analysis methods to generate homophily and heterophily scores in three communities that had received federal grants to improve services for this population. Heterophily scores (i.e., a measure of cross-age collaboration) in programs serving only transition-age youth were significantly higher than the heterophily scores of programs that served only adults or only children. Few other program markers or malleable program factors predicted heterophily. Programs that specialize in serving transition-age youth are a good resource for gaining knowledge of how to bridge adult and child programs.

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This manuscript was developed under a grant with funding from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research and the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Grant H133B090018, to the first author, The Learning and Working During the Transition to Adulthood RRTC). We are grateful to John Coppola, Pnina Goldfarb, Bruce Kamradt, and DeDe Sieler for their help with this project and the programs and their respondents who participated in this research. The contents of this paper do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR or SAMHSA and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

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Correspondence to Maryann Davis PhD.

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Davis, M., Koroloff, N., Sabella, K. et al. Crossing the Age Divide: Cross-Age Collaboration Between Programs Serving Transition-Age Youth. J Behav Health Serv Res 45, 356–369 (2018).

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