Abstract for:Community Structure Among Community-Based Interventions

The goal of this study is to assess the structural similarities and dissimilarities of community issues with respect to community context from a feedback perspective. Specifically, we address the following question, to what extent does the underlying community feedback system vary across settings and issues? We utilize community-based system dynamics (CBSD) to examine underlying feedback systems as identified by heterogenous system actors, and network analysis to examine relational structures and processes across systems. Using extant data collected from participatory, structured group model building workshops with communities across the U.S., we conduct a content analysis of causal loop diagrams (CLDs) to identify fundamental system parts and their interdependencies. Next, we utilize network analysis to further explore system structure across community contexts empirically. We use data from the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities (HKHC) program, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded project which sought to better understand local policy, system, and environmental factors that contribute to healthy communities. Results indicate that system regulations and system resources are common across all community issues and contexts, while explicit representations of system norms and system operations are infrequent. Additionally, community structures differ according to issue complexity, issue subgroups, and issue prominence.