Presentation Title: What About Our Coalition? and So What?

Abstract: Extant research has shown that community-based coalitions are the most common platform for implementing substance use prevention efforts. Utilizing the steps of the Strategic Planning Framework (SPF), a major prevention innovation launched by the Center for Abuse Prevention (CSAP) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), measuring characteristics of coalition functioning is a useful way to determine a community’s capacity to effectively implement and disseminate evidence-based prevention interventions. Previous work has also found that general coalition capacity is associated with greater success influencing overall substance use outcomes in diverse communities. However, as many studies have focused on examining salient constructs of coalition functioning, few have focused on practical ways of feeding back the data to community coalitions in order to promote utilization of training and technical assistance services which can be used to address gaps in capacity building efforts.

This study aims to explore various characteristics of coalition functioning in 12 community-based coalitions in Rhode Island. Each coalition was awarded the Partnerships for Success grant for implementing prevention programs focused on reducing alcohol and marijuana use in adolescents aged 12-17.

The Community Research and Services Team (CRST) evaluators will administer a web-based survey to 12 community coalitions via Survey Monkey. Coalition functioning constructs items were adopted from surveys that provided psychometrically strong properties.

Data from surveys will be tabulated, summarized, and presented to each community coalition by the evaluation team in the format of printed feedback reports. Results will highlight the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing web-based surveys to assess the capacity of community coalitions. Findings will also highlight important considerations in providing practical feedback to communities in order to identify training and technical assistance needs.

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