Community and Team Member Factors that Influence the Operations Phase of Local Prevention Teams: The PROSPER Project

Abstract

This study examined the longitudinal predictors of quality of functioning of community prevention teams during the “operations” phase of team development. The 14 community teams were involved in a randomized-trial of a university-community partnership project, PROSPER (Spoth et al., Prevention Science, 5(1): 31–39, 2004b), that implements evidence-based interventions intended to support positive youth development and reduce early substance use, as well as other problem behaviors. The study included a multi-informant approach to measurement of constructs, and included data from 137 team members, 59 human service agency directors and school administrators, 16 school principals, and 8 Prevention Coordinators (i.e. technical assistance providers). We examined how community demographics and social capital, team level characteristics, and team member attributes and attitudes are related to local team functioning across an 18-month period. Findings indicate that community demographics (poverty), social capital, team member attitudes towards prevention, and team members’ views of the acceptability of teen alcohol use played a substantial role in predicting various indicators of the quality of team functioning 18 months later.

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