Online Program

Role of community coalitions in successful environmental approaches to decreasing underage drinking: A case study approach

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ronald Szoc, Ph.D., Public Health and Survey Research Division, ICF International, Fairfax, VA
Alisha Creel, Ph.D., Public Health and Survey Research Division, ICF International, Fairfax, VA
Recent strategies for reducing alcohol use among military service members have employed an “environmental approach” including, among other activities, enforcement of policies that control alcohol availability and price and campaigns for de-glamorizing drinking and for promoting personal responsibility and health. This presentation examines a community-based environmental approach, implemented in seven Air Force bases and their surrounding communities. It focuses on the creation, operation, and maintenance of coalitions comprising both military and civilian organizations to promote responsible drinking by airmen who are of legal drinking age and to prevent drinking by airmen who are underage, by means of environmental strategies. By viewing the Air Force community as including the base and the local civilian community, this inclusive coalition approach leverages the combined resources of military and civilian organizations to enforce underage drinking laws and provide alternative activities for service members that do not involve alcohol. Our presentation will examine those elements of community coalitions that are related to successful interventions and, conversely, those elements that inhibit success. For example, the most successful coalitions had (1) one person who was the key "driver" in both the civilian and the military communities; (2) a commitment to maintain the program activities after the funding ended; and (3) more programmatic - as contrasted with bureaucratic - activities than less successful coalitions. Employing a case study approach, we will discuss various qualitative and quantitative metrics of coalition effectiveness and will present those aspects of community coalitions that constitute effective practices and lead to positive intervention results.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
List the characteristics of community coalitions positively related to intervention effectiveness. Discuss the role of community coalitions in augmenting the intervention activities in alcohol use reduction programs.

Keyword(s): Coalition, Alcohol Problems

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator on the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws military evaluation and on a EUDL Field-Initiated Research and Evaluation grant to evaluate the impact of environmental strategies on underage drinking.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.