A multi-level examination of how the organizational context relates to readiness to implement prevention and evidence-based programming in community settings

Sarah M. Chilenski, Jonathan R. Olson, Jill A. Schulte, Daniel F. Perkins, Richard Spoth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prior theoretical and empirical research suggests that multiple aspects of an organization's context are likely related to a number of factors, from their interest and ability to adopt new programming, to client outcomes. A limited amount of the prior research has taken a more community-wide perspective by examining factors that associate with community readiness for change, leaving how these findings generalize to community organizations that conduct prevention or positive youth development programs unknown.Thus for the current study, we examined how the organizational context of the Cooperative Extension System (CES) associates with current attitudes and practices regarding prevention and evidence-based programming. Attitudes and practices have been found in the empirical literature to be key indicators of an organization's readiness to adopt prevention and evidence-based programming. Based on multi-level mixed models, results indicate that organizational management practices distinct from program delivery may affect an organization's readiness to adopt and implement new prevention and evidence-based youth programs, thereby limiting the potential public health impact of evidence-based programs. Openness to change, openness of leadership, and communication were the strongest predictors identified within this study. An organization's morale was also found to be a strong predictor of an organization's readiness. The findings of the current study are discussed in terms of implications for prevention and intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-74
Number of pages12
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Volume48
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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