Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Methods for Linking Community Views to Measurable Outcomes in A Youth Violence Prevention Program

TitleMethods for Linking Community Views to Measurable Outcomes in A Youth Violence Prevention Program
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMcDonald CC, Richmond TS, Guerra T, Thomas NA, Ten Have TR, Vaughn NA, Leff SS, Hausman AJ
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Date Published12/2012
Type of Articlejournal


All parties in community-academic partnerships have a vested interest prevention program success. Markers of success that reflect community's experiences of programmatic prevention success are not always measurable, but critically speak to community-defined needs.


The purpose of this manuscript was to (1) describe our systematic process for linking locally relevant community views (community-defined indicators) to measurable outcomes in the context of a youth violence prevention program and (2) discuss lessons learned, next steps, and recommendations for others trying to replicate a similar process.


A research team composed of both academic and community researchers conducted a systematic process of matching community-defined indicators of youth violence prevention programmatic success to standardized youth survey items being administered in the course of a program evaluation. The research team of three community partners and five academic partners considered 43 community-defined indicators and 208 items from the youth surveys being utilized within the context of a community-based aggression prevention program. At the end of the matching process, 92 youth survey items were identified and agreed upon as potential matches to 11 of the community-defined indicators.


We applied rigorous action steps to match community-defined indicators to survey data collected in the youth violence prevention intervention. We learned important lessons that inform recommendations for others interested in such endeavors. The process used to derive and assess community-defined indicators of success emphasized the principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR) and use of existing and available data to reduce participant burden.