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

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The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research

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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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