Prevention Science

, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp 1136–1146 | Cite as

Building Local Infrastructure for Community Adoption of Science-Based Prevention: The Role of Coalition Functioning

  • Valerie B. Shapiro
  • J. David Hawkins
  • Sabrina Oesterle


The widespread adoption of science-based prevention requires local infrastructures for prevention service delivery. Communities That Care (CTC) is a tested prevention service delivery system that enables a local coalition of community stakeholders to use a science-based approach to prevention and improve the behavioral health of young people. This paper uses data from the Community Youth Development Study (CYDS), a community-randomized trial of CTC, to examine the extent to which better internal team functioning of CTC coalitions increases the community-wide adoption of science-based prevention within 12 communities, relative to 12 matched comparison communities. Specifically, this paper examines the potential of both a direct relationship between coalition functioning and the community-wide adoption of science-based prevention and a direct relationship between functioning and the coalition capacities that ultimately enable the adoption of science-based prevention. Findings indicate no evidence of a direct relationship between four dimensions of coalition functioning and the community-wide adoption of a science-based approach to prevention, but suggest a relationship between coalition functioning and coalition capacities (building new member skills and establishing external linkages with existing community organizations) that enable science-based prevention.


Communities That Care Coalition Functioning Capacities Science-based prevention Community-level intervention 



This work was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA015183-01A1) with co-funding from the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Mental Health (T32 MH20012), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, and the Society of Social Work & Research. The content of this paper does not represent the official views of these agencies. The authors acknowledge the CYDS communities and the thoughtful review of Peter J. Pecora.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valerie B. Shapiro
    • 1
  • J. David Hawkins
    • 2
  • Sabrina Oesterle
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social WelfareUniversity of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Social Development Research Group, School of Social WorkUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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