Original Paper

American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 270-282

First online:

Multilevel Measurement of Dimensions of Collaborative Functioning in a Network of Collaboratives that Promote Child and Family Well-Being

  • John P. BarileAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Georgia State UniversityDivision of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Email author 
  • , Adam J. DarnellAffiliated withEMSTAR Research, Inc.
  • , Steve W. EricksonAffiliated withEMSTAR Research, Inc.
  • , Scott R. WeaverAffiliated withInstitute of Public Health, Georgia State University

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Evaluating collaboration between community partners presents a series of methodological challenges (Roussos and Fawcett in Annu Rev Public Health 21:369–402, 2000; Yin and Kaftarian 1997), one of which is selection of the appropriate level of analysis. When data are collected from multiple members of multiple settings, multilevel analysis techniques should be used. Multilevel confirmatory factor analysis (MCFA) is an analytic approach that incorporates the advantages of latent variable measurement modeling and multilevel modeling for nested data. This study utilizes MCFA on data obtained from an evaluation survey of collaborative functioning provided to members of 157 community collaboratives in Georgia. This study presents a well-fitting measurement model that includes five dimensions of collaborative functioning, and a structural component with individual- and collaborative-level covariates. Findings suggest that members’ role and meeting attendance significantly predicted their assessment of collaboration at the individual level, and that tenure of collaborative leaders predicted the overall functioning of the collaborative at the collaborative level. Dimensionality of collaborative functioning and implications of potentially substantial measurement biases associated with selection of respondents are addressed.


Collaboration Coalitions Collaborative functioning Children Multilevel measurement Structural equation modeling