An integration of statistical approaches to help understand coalition effectiveness

Nathan Stein, University of Rhode Island


Although community coalitions have significant promise for reducing substance and alcohol abuse, research on community coalitions has provided mixed results. Whereas some progress has been made towards understanding the dimensions that underlie the effectiveness of coalitions, the research contains several limitations. These limitations include a lack of consensus on measurement tools, limited systematic empirical studies (Kegler, Steckler, McLeroy, & Malek, 1998), and limited research on actual outcomes. The proposed study seeks to address these limitations. ^ There are two levels of participants in this study. The first level of participants consists of eighth-grade students (N=5,045) in Rhode Island. They provided information on perceived risk of alcohol use and past 30-day alcohol use. The second level of participants consists of the coalition members. Members of the coalition included local government, police, school officials, and community citizens. In total, there were 358, 262, and 252 coalition members who filled out surveys in 1992, 1994, and 1996, respectively. ^ The members provided data on the initial resources, the organizational functioning, the internal resource mobilization, and the organizational output of the coalition. These constructs are based on the general components of a theoretical systems framework (Florin, Chavis, Wandersman, & Rich, 1992). ^ Results can be broken into three categories, corresponding to the three main hypotheses of the study. With regards to the four aforementioned constructs, findings suggest that three out of the four constructs are sound and reliable. The only construct that did not meet these criteria was Internal Resource Mobilization. As for the proposed theoretical framework for the four constructs, findings suggest that a mediational model is valid. Organizational Functioning and Internal Resource Mobilization serve as mediating variables for the relationship between Initial Resources and Organizational Output. Unfortunately, a hierarchical linear model did not render support for a significant relationship between coalition characteristics and ultimate outcomes of perceived risk and alcohol use. ^ Implications of these findings are discussed. More research is needed on how to best measure one of the four constructs, or better measures are needed. Then, limitations of the study and directions for future studies are provided, followed by a synthesis and summary. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, General|Sociology, Organizational

Recommended Citation

Nathan Stein, "An integration of statistical approaches to help understand coalition effectiveness" (2008). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3328732.