Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis




College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Abraham Wandersman


In the United States, extensive monetary resources are dedicated annually to support drug use prevention programs, but the sustainability of these interventions over time is often a neglected area of research. This study examines the moderating effect of capacity factors on the relationship between motivation factors and years interventions were sustained. We retained a sample of 29 evidence-based substance use prevention interventions implemented in 14 community coalitions as part of the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG) in Tennessee. Primary data were collected through interviews about each intervention conducted five-and-a-half years after SPF SIG funding ended. These interviews included scale data about motivation factors related to sustainability and a qualitative question asking participants why they thought the intervention was sustained or not. Secondary data previously collected about organizational capacities were also examined. We found that capacity factors of change in coalition formalization, change in data resources, and change in funding moderated the relationship between the motivation factor of trialability and years interventions were sustained. Change in coalition formalization and change in data resources also moderated the relationship between the other motivation factor of interest, relative advantage, and years interventions were sustained. These findings suggest that motivational factors may be particularly important in low-resourced coalitions. The qualitative data suggest that participants perceived relationships among stakeholders, compatibility, observability, and funding to have been critical factors for the sustainability of the interventions implemented by their coalitions. The results of this study will be important for theorybuilding and suggestions for future research regarding the complex factors that lead to sustainability of interventions.


© 2018, Tara Kenworthy