The Impact of a Prevention Delivery System on Perceived Social Capital: the PROSPER Project
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The current study examined the impact of the PROSPER delivery system for evidence-based prevention programs on multiple indicators of social capital in a rural and semi-rural community sample. Utilizing a randomized blocked design, 317 individuals in 28 communities across two states were interviewed at three time points over the course of 2.5 years. Bridging, linking, and the public life skills forms of social capital were assessed via community members’ and leaders’ reports on the perceptions of school functioning and the Cooperative Extension System, collaboration among organizations, communication and collaboration around youth problems, and other measures. Longitudinal mixed model results indicate significant improvements in some aspects of bridging and linking social capital in PROSPER intervention communities. Given the strength of the longitudinal and randomized research design, results advance prevention science by suggesting that community collaborative prevention initiatives can significantly impact community social capital in a rural and semi-rural sample. Future research should further investigate changes in social capital in different contexts and how changes in social capital relate to other intervention effects.
KeywordsSocial capital Community collaboration Prevention team Cooperative Extension System School–community partnership
Work on this paper was supported by research grant R01DA013709 from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. We thank Chungyeol Shin, Lesa Hoffman, Damon Jones, and D. Wayne Osgood for their input on our analysis plan.
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