Previous research has reported that public-academic partnerships (PAPs) can effectively promote PAP leaders’ use of research evidence in improving youth outcomes. However, the existing literature has not yet clarified whether and how PAP leaders’ use of research evidence evolves along the PAP life cycle and whether PAP partners’ concordant perceptions of usefulness of their PAP has an impact on PAP leaders’ use of research evidence. Developing a conceptual framework that recognizes the PAP life cycle and empirically identifying contexts and mechanisms of PAPs that promote PAP leaders’ use of research evidence from the PAP life cycle perspective are imperative to guide researchers and policymakers to successfully lead PAPs and foster policymakers’ use of research evidence for improving youth outcomes.
Utilizing an integrated framework of organizational life cycle perspective, a social partnership perspective, and a realist evaluation, this study examines the extent to which PAP development and PAP leaders’ use of research evidence can be characterized into life cycle stages and identifies PAP contexts and mechanisms that explain the progress of PAPs and PAP leaders’ use of research evidence through life cycle stages.
Recruiting PAPs across the United States that aim to improve mental health and promote well-being of youth aged 12-25 years, the study conducts a document analysis and an online survey of PAPs to inform policymakers and academic researchers on the contexts and mechanisms to increase PAP sustainability and promote policymakers’ use of research evidence in improving youth outcomes.
Fifty-three PAPs that meet the recruitment criteria have been identified, and document review of PAPs and participant recruitment for the online survey of PAP experience have been conducted.
This paper will help policymakers and researchers gain a deeper knowledge of the contexts and mechanisms for each PAP life cycle stage in order to optimize PAP leaders’ use of research evidence in achieving positive youth outcomes.