Background: Community coalitions are frequently used as partners for community-engaged research. However, limited research shows how these partnerships affect the coalitions.

Objective: To evaluate the effects of researcher–coalition collaboration on coalition function in the pilot year of a 4-year intervention program targeting childhood obesity in rural, low-income communities.

Methods: A quasi-experimental study using a quantitative survey (Coalition Self-Assessment Survey [CSAS]) evaluated factors related to coalition function and efficacy. Twelve community coalitions from seven states completed survey evaluations at baseline (n = 133), and at the 1-year follow-up (n = 113). Pearson’s χ2 and Mann–Whitney U tests were computed; significance was set at p < .05.

Results: Survey results revealed significant changes for coalitions engaged in research partnership. Institutional engagement with community health coalitions in the first year of partnership was related to enhanced coalition function.

Conclusions: Coalitions with a greater degree of researcher collaboration may be more successful in addressing community health problems.


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pp. 105-114
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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