Towards an integrated model of participation in community-based alcohol and other drug problem prevention coalitions

Benjamin David Kerman, University of Rhode Island


This study proposed and tested a process-oriented model for understanding the decision of members of community-based prevention coalitions to continue actively participating. Investigations of Citizen Participation seldom test models, taking an exploratory approach to the correlates and causes of Participation. Operationalizing variables representing two important domains, the Costs/Benefits of past participation and the Cognitive Social Learning Variables (CSLVs), two submodels were evaluated within an exploratory-confirmatory structural equation model testing design. Social exchange theory informs the Costs/Benefits submodel, whereas the CSLV Submodel includes relationships suggested by Expectancy-Value and Planned Behavior Theories. Then, an integrated model in which the CSLV submodel mediates some of the influence of experienced incentives to explain intentions for future participation was refined and tested.^ Mailed survey responses from 273 members of 35 municipal prevention task forces were randomly assigned to either calibration (N = 136) or confirmatory (N = 137) samples. After the measurement model and initial structural model were refined with the calibration sample (Appendix on scale refinement is included), confirmatory tests indicated good overall fit, confirming the majority of the hypothesized relationships: The CSLV submodel explained 45% of the variance in intent to continue participating, whereas the Costs/benefits explained 23% of the variance for the confirmatory sample. As hypothesized, the larger, better fitting Expectancy-value based model explained more unique variance in the confirmatory sample (28%) than the smaller, less well-fitting Social Exchange model (6%). The integrated model predicted the most variance (51%).^ Perceived Participation Skills and Group Outcome Expectations were found to be the largest direct predictors of intent to participate. Moreover, Participation skills mediated the impact of Costs associated with organizational participation, while Expectations mediated the impact of Organizational Costs and all Benefits on intentions. Time opportunity costs directly and negatively related to intent. Mixed support for the role of Perceptions of Problem Severity and Community Value was found. These results support the use of Cognitive Social Learning Variables and extend their role theoretically and empirically integrating variables across time and variable domains. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Public and Social Welfare

Recommended Citation

Benjamin David Kerman, "Towards an integrated model of participation in community-based alcohol and other drug problem prevention coalitions" (1996). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI9702085.