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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Measuring dimensions of coalition functioning for effective and participatory community practice

  • Author(s): Shapiro, VB
  • Oesterle, S
  • Abbott, RD
  • Arthur, MW
  • David Hawkins, J
  • et al.

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 that are relevant for evaluations of community practice. In this article, data are used from a community-randomized trial of Communities That Care, a coalition-based model of community practice shown to be effective at transforming communities and changing rates of problem behavior in youths. 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. © 2013 National Association of Social Workers.

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