Measuring Dimensions of Coalition Functioning for Effective and Participatory Community Practice.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1093/swr/svt028
Social Work has a long history of community practice, but community practice models have been understudied. An important first step in conducting such studies is the establishment of psychometrically sound measures relevant for evaluations of community practice. In this paper, data are used from a community-randomized trial of Communities That Care (CTC), a coalition-based model of community practice shown to be effective at transforming communities and changing rates of youth problem behavior. Coalition functioning is reported by coalition members in 12 communities across intervention implementation phases. A four-dimensional model of coalition functioning (goal-directedness, efficiency, opportunities for participation, and cohesion) was confirmed using factor analysis and the dimensions were found to be invariant across time. One test of validity of these dimensions is conducted by correlating coalition members' ratings of coalition functioning with those of external observers.