Community coalitions and partnerships are commonly used strategies to prevent substance abuse and address other public health issues. These alliances among multiple organizations aim to prevent substance abuse by changing conditions related to personal and environmental factors. Two general indicators have been identified to assess the effectiveness of community coalitions: internal coalition functioning (e.g., implementation of evidence-based processes) and external environmental changes such as new community programs and policies. This study examines coalition functioning by measuring implementation of coalition processes and environmental changes facilitated by coalitions. Eight substance abuse coalitions from the Midwest participated in the study. The intervention consisted of two primary components: training in community change efforts using the Community Tool Box curriculum and monthly technical assistance related to prioritized coalition processes. The study utilized a multiple baseline design across coalitions (randomly assigned to two cohorts), a pre/post comparison, and a factor analysis to answer four research questions. The results showed coalitions reported fuller implementation of coalition processes at the end of the intervention, but documented changes were unaffected by the intervention in terms of frequency and intensity. Through the addition of qualitative methods, contextual factors were included in the analysis suggesting a number of factors that influenced coalition functioning including time to engage in change efforts, costs of prevention efforts, staff turnover, and broader external community conditions. This study extends the evidence base by examining how the environment was modified and associated with the implementation of coalition processes. This study helps make a connection between the fields of behavioral science and public health through the systematic assessment of coalition efforts to create conditions for reduced risk for substance abuse.
|Advisor:||Fawcett, Stephen B.|
|Commitee:||DiGennaro Reed, Flo D., Ramaswamy, Megha, Schultz, Jerry A., Watson Thompson, Jomella|
|School:||University of Kansas|
|Department:||Applied Behavioral Science|
|School Location:||United States -- Kansas|
|Source:||DAI-B 73/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Public health, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Coalition functioning, Community change, Community coalitions, Substance abuse interventions, Technical assistance interventions, Training|
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