, Volume 33, Issue 3-4, pp 163-176

Readiness, Functioning, and Perceived Effectiveness in Community Prevention Coalitions: A Study of Communities That Care

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This paper examined whether community readiness, prevention knowledge, coalition functioning, and barriers are linked to perceived effectiveness of community prevention coalitions. Interviews were conducted with 203 key leaders in Communities That Care (CTC) prevention boards in 21 Pennsylvania communities. Community-level means for the reliable self-report measures were utilized separately and in combination with research staff ratings, state technical assistant staff ratings, and other data. The results indicated that the strong link between readiness and perceived effectiveness was mediated by internal coalition functioning. The extent of CTC linkage with outside community entities was not linked to perceived effectiveness. The study concludes that community readiness is an important condition for success of a prevention coalition, and exerts effects mainly through the quality of the coalition's internal functioning. Member turnover and infighting appear to be important factors related to internal functioning. Linkage with outside entities may be more important for coalition models where the coalition is more dependent on local institutions for resources.