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Cancer Control Research

Wells, Rebecca S.


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Community-based coalitions are integral to the National Cancer Institute's strategy for disseminating evidence-based interventions to reduce the burden of cancer in the United States, especially in underserved areas. As collaborative organizations, coalitions offer great promise in marshalling the combined resources of member agencies, businesses, and private citizens toward sustainable health promotion in culturally and community specific ways. At the same time, the discretionary nature of their members' participation poses the constant threat of disengagement. Thus, an understanding of what supports member participation is vital to ensuring the sustained capacity of community-based coalitions to engage in cancer control activities. This study will test a conceptual model of the factors affecting member participation in community-based coalitions and will examine how participation leads to specific prevention activities. The investigators will pursue this agenda through previously collected data from cancer-prevention coalitions within the Appalachia Cancer Network. They will then compare both constructs and patterns of association to those in a sample of Communities That Care coalitions focusing on adolescent behavior problems, many of which also increase cancer risks. The result will be a model that has greater specificity and generality than has been achieved in previous studies. The new model will enable us to see (1) how to measure factors potentially related to participation within community-based health promotion coalitions; (2) what coalition-level attributes affect individual members' participation; and (3) how participation levels support prevention activities at the coalition level. This study will lay the groundwork for subsequent research establishing a mid-range theory of community-based health promotion coalition participation.

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