Coalitional Capacities and Environmental Strategies to Prevent Underage Drinking

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Date of Original Version



Coalitions are the most common platform for implementing community-level environmental strategies (ES), such as media, policy, or enforcement for substance use prevention. The current study examines the associations between two types of coalition capacity (general and innovation-specific) and ES implementation efforts and outputs within 14 intervention communities over a three-year period. Efforts refer to the amount of energy exerted to implement an ES while outputs refer to the materials produced through these efforts. Quantitative measures of capacity were provided by coalition key informants and expert-raters. Additionally, Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) provided proactively to improve the implementation of ES was also examined. Greater general capacity, as rated by a coalition informant, was associated with more ES policy effort. Both expert-rated general and innovation-specific capacity, however, were associated with greater ES outputs. Study results also found that community coalitions that endorsed weaker mobilization, structure and task leadership, (measures of general capacity), utilized more TTA compared to those who perceived their coalition as having greater capacity. Moreover, communities that utilized more TTA resources reported a greater number of successful policy changes. The study supports the need to consider both general and innovation-specific capacity for ES implementation and offers promising preliminary findings regarding the role of TTA for improving coalitions' capacity to facilitate policy change. © 2012 Society for Community Research and Action.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

American Journal of Community Psychology