Across Ages

Note: The Across Ages program was not responsive to the CEBC's inquiry. The following information was obtained from publicly available sources.

Scientific Rating:
3
Promising Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
Medium
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

Across Ages has been rated by the CEBC in the area of: Mentoring Programs (Child & Adolescent).

Target Population: Youth ages 9 to 13 who are at a high-risk for substance abuse

Brief Description

Across Ages is a school- and community-based substance abuse prevention program for youth ages 9 to 13. The unique feature of Across Ages is the pairing of older adult mentors (55 years and older) with young adolescents, specifically those making the transition to middle school. The overall goal of the program is to increase protective factors for high-risk students to prevent, reduce, or delay the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and the problems associated with substance use.

Education and Training Resources

Publicly available information indicates there is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is some training available for this program.
See contact info below.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program is rated a "3 - Promising Research Evidence" on the Scientific Rating Scale based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The practice must have at least one study utilizing some form of control (e.g., untreated group, placebo group, matched wait list study) establishing the practice's benefit over the placebo, or found it to be comparable to or better than an appropriate comparison practice. Please see the Scientific Rating Scale for more information.

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Show relevant research...

LoSciuto, L., Rajala, A. K., Townsend, T. N., & Taylor, A. S. (1996). An outcome evaluation of Across Ages: An intergenerational mentoring approach to drug prevention. Journal of Adolescent Research, 11(1), 116-129.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial (randomization within schools at the classroom level)
Number of Participants: 562

Population:

  • Age — Mentors: 55 years and older, Youth: 6th grade (approx. 10-12 years)
  • Race/Ethnicity — Mentors: Not specified; Youth: 52% African American, 16% White, 9% Asian, 9% Hispanic, and 14% Other
  • Gender — Mentors: Not specified, Youth: 53% Female and 47% Male
  • Status — Participants were high-risk youth.

Location/Institution: Philadelphia, PA

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study evaluated the Across Ages program. Measures utilized include the Reactions to Situations Involving Drug Use Scale, the Reactions to Stress or Anxiety Measure, the Self-perception Profile for Children Scale, the Measure of Substance Abuse, the Knowledge about Older People Scale, the Rand Well-being Scale, the Problem-Solving Efficacy Scale, and the Knowledge About Substance Abuse Scale. Classrooms were assigned to a curriculum and community service condition (Program Group); Across Ages which is a curriculum, community service, and mentoring condition (Mentoring Group); or a Control Group. Results indicate attitudes toward older people were significantly better in the Across Ages group than the Program Group and the Control Group. No statistically significant difference in attitudes was found between the Program Group and the Control Group. Both the Across Ages group and the Program Group had significantly better knowledge about older adults than the Control Group. No statistically significant difference in knowledge was found between the groups that received Across Ages and the Program Group. Limitations include population generalizability, lack of follow-up, and attrition rate.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Aseltine, R. R., Dupre, M., & Lamlein, P. (2000). Mentoring as a drug prevention strategy: An evaluation of Across Ages. Adolescent & Family Health, 1(1), 11-20.

Type of Study: Randomized control trial (randomization within schools at the classroom level)
Number of Participants: Approximately 400

Population:

  • Age — Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were low-income 6th grade youth.

Location/Institution: Springfield, MA

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study evaluates the Across Ages program. Participants were assigned to one of three of conditions: the mentoring condition (Across Ages), the curriculum condition, or a control condition. Measures utilized include the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention’s National Youth Survey (NYS). Results indicate participants in the Across Ages condition reported significantly higher levels of self-control, family bonding, and school bonding than participants in the curriculum or control condition. Additionally, participants in the Across Ages condition reported higher levels of self-confidence and cooperation than participants in the curriculum condition. At 6 months postintervention, the increased levels of self-control, family bonding, school bonding, and self-confidence were not observed in the Across Ages group. Limitations include attrition and reliability on self-reported measures.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 months.

Rogers, A., & Taylor, A. (1997). Intergenerational mentoring: A viable strategy for meeting the needs of vulnerable youth. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 28(1&2), 125-140.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: Not specified

Population:

  • Age — Mentors: Not specified, Youth: 6th grade (approx.. 10-12 years)
  • Race/Ethnicity — Mentors: Not specified, Youth: No specified
  • Gender — Mentors: Not specified, Youth: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were high-risk youth.

Location/Institution: Philadelphia, PA

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study evaluated the efficacy of Across Ages, a school-based Philadelphia project that matched older mentors with middle school students. Three classrooms of 6th grade students were randomly selected and assigned to three groups. One classroom received Across Ages (which included mentoring, a life skills curriculum taught by the classroom teacher, performing community service activities, and engaging parents in workshops to enhance positive parenting and involvement in school activities). A second classroom received the same as the above group with the exception of the mentoring piece. A third classroom which received no services was treated as a control group. Results indicated students in experimental groups, those in Across Ages and those without mentors, demonstrated statistically or marginally significant differences on 7 of the 9 measurement scales over students in the control group. In addition, scores on attitudes towards school; future and elders; feelings of well-being; frequency of drug use; and reactions to stress and anxiety were most favorable for those students who received Across Ages. Limitations include population generalizability and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Taylor, A. S., Losciuto, L., Fox, M., Hilbert, S. M., & Sonkowsky, M. (1999). The mentoring factor. Child & Youth Services, 20(1-2), 77-99.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 562

Population:

  • Age — Mentors: Typically 65-75 years, Youth: Middle school age (approx. 11-14 years)
  • Race/Ethnicity — Mentors: Typically African-American; Youth: Mentors: Typically African-American; Youth: 52% African American, 16% White, 9% Asian-American, 9% Hispanic, and 14% Other
  • Gender — Mentors: Not specified, Youth: 53% Female and 47% Male
  • Status — Participants were high-risk youth.

Location/Institution: Philadelphia, PA

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study uses the same sample as LoSciuto et al. (1996). This study evaluates the Across Ages program in reducing adolescent drug abuse and to help older adults maintain active roles in their communities. Measures utilized include the Reactions to Situations Involving Drug Use Scale, the Reactions to Stress or Anxiety Measure, the Self-perception Profile for Children Scale, the Measure of Substance Abuse, the Knowledge about Older People Scale, the Rand Well-being Scale, the Problem-Solving Efficacy Scale, and the Knowledge About Substance Abuse Scale. Students were assigned to the Positive Youth Development Curriculum (PYDC) and community service condition (Program Group); Across Ages (the PYDC, community service, and mentoring) condition (Mentoring Group); or a Control Group. The control group did not receive any program components. Results indicated for students in the Program Group and Mentoring Group there were significantly more prosocial attitudes towards school, elders, and their own future. Additionally, students in the Mentoring Group showed improved attitudes about school, future, and elders, and a significant reduction in absenteeism. Results also indicated that students in the Mentoring Group who received ‘‘exceptional’’ mentoring attended school more frequently than students in the Program and the Control groups. Limitations include population generalizability and attrition rate.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

References

No reference materials are currently available for Across Ages.

Contact Information

Name: Dr. Andrea S. Taylor, PhD
Website: www.acrossages.org
Email:
Phone: (215) 204-6708

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: July 2013

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: July 2013