Technical assistance in prevention programs: Correlates of perceived need in communities that care

Mark E. Feinberg, Mark T. Greenberg, D. Wayne Osgood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Technical assistance is an important component of the design of prevention programs that aim to widely disseminate an empirically-supported model to diverse local sites while maintaining fidelity. In the context of an evaluation of Communities That Care (CTC) in Pennsylvania, this study examines issues important for the delivery and allocation of technical assistance resources. Questions examined include whether local program implementers are reliable guides as to, which sites require higher levels of technical assistance (TA), and whether local participants are able to accurately specify which areas of technical assistance would be most useful for their project. Correlational and mixed-model (HLM) analyses were conducted utilizing measures of project functioning in 21 CTC sites from participant (n=203) and the research staff's perspectives. Local participants' perceived level of overall TA need was related to coalition members' perceived effectiveness of the local CTC organizations. Further, participants' ratings of specific areas of TA need were associated with hypothesized domains of CTC (e.g. community readiness, coalition members' attitudes/knowledge regarding prevention, internal coalition functioning, perceived effectiveness). However, our conclusions regarding the ability of local participants to identify TA needs are qualified by two aspects of the results: The magnitude of the hypothesized specific domain associations were moderate, and participants' ratings of overall technical assistance need were not linked to technical assistant providers' ratings of overall site functioning. Results are discussed in the context of the importance of ongoing technical assistance for community-based prevention models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-274
Number of pages12
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2004

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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