, Volume 47, Issue 1-2, pp 12-27
Date: 29 Oct 2010

Proximal Outcomes Matter: A Multilevel Examination of the Processes by Which Coordinating Councils Produce Change

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Abstract

Communities are engaged in efforts to create a coordinated response to intimate partner violence. Though coordinating councils are commonly employed vehicles for such efforts, research provides only equivocal support regarding their effectiveness. These mixed findings may reflect methodological and conceptual challenges. Specifically, there is an over-reliance on conceptualizing council effectiveness in terms of distal outcomes (e.g., behavior change), rather than the intermediary processes by which councils affect change. A direct assessment of councils’ proximal outcomes may highlight change mechanisms. To that end, this study investigates the extent to which councils impact proximal outcomes and examines the processes through which proximal outcomes are interrelated and linked to distal community change. Study findings suggest that perceived proximal outcomes do significantly predict variability in perceived distal community change across councils. Specifically, promotion of social capital and institutionalized change predict achievement of distal community change, and promotion of social capital also predicts achievement of institutionalized change.