Unpacking prevention capacity: an intersection of research-to-practice models and community-centered models

Am J Community Psychol. 2008 Jun;41(3-4):182-96. doi: 10.1007/s10464-008-9162-3.


Capacity is a complex construct that lacks definitional clarity. Little has been done to define capacity, explicate components of capacity, or explore the development of capacity in prevention. This article represents an attempt to operationalize capacity and distinguish among types and levels of capacity as they relate to dissemination and implementation through the use of a taxonomy of capacity. The development of the taxonomy was informed by the capacity literature from two divergent models in the field: research-to-practice (RTP) models and community-centered (CC) models. While these models differ in perspective and focus, both emphasize the importance of capacity to the dissemination and sustainability of prevention innovations. Based on the review of the literature, the taxonomy differentiates the concepts of capacity among two dimensions: level (individual, organizational, and community levels) and type (general capacity and innovation-specific capacity). The proposed taxonomy can aid in understanding the concept of capacity and developing methods to support the implementation and sustainability of prevention efforts in novel settings.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Abuse / prevention & control
  • Community Networks / organization & administration*
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Program Development
  • Violence / prevention & control*