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Strengthening Families Through Community Cafes

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042962/00001

Material Information

Title: Strengthening Families Through Community Cafes An Evaluation Study
Physical Description: 1 online resource (122 p.)
Language: english
Creator: CARANNANTE,SAMANTHA
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: CAFE -- COMMUNITY -- CONCEPT -- EVALUATION -- FACTORS -- FAMILIES -- FAMILY -- PROTECTIVE -- STRENGTHENING
Family, Youth and Community Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Family, Youth and Community Sciences thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Community Caf?s are a conversational approach to promoting the Center for the Study of Social Policy Strengthening Families Protective Factors, which include parental resilience, concrete support in times of need, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, and fostering social and emotional competence of children.Since this is a new approach to strengthening families, no rigorous evaluation has been conducted to date. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefits of Community Caf?s. The evaluation was conducted using Concept Mapping (Kane &Trochim, 2007). Data collection occurred in three steps ? brainstorming, sorting, and rating. First, sixty-six participants brainstormed ideas based on what they believe are benefits of Caf?s. This list was refined to eighty-three benefits. Participants then conducted a card sort based on how they thought the benefits should be grouped into conceptually similar categories. In the final step, participants completed questionnaires rating each benefit on a scale of one to five based on the importance of the occurrence of each benefit and whether the benefit was achieved as a result of participation. Data analysis was completed using Concept Systems Software?. Through a similarity matrix and multidimensional scaling a point map was created placing the statements on the map based on how often they were sorted together. Then through hierarchical cluster analysis, nine-clusters of benefits were identified. The clusters related to the environment of respect and equality, personal expression and discovery, and parenting consistently had the highest mean ratings in both achievement and importance. Overall, each cluster of benefits was rated highly in terms of importance and achievement. There are several limitations to this study that suggest caution in interpreting the results. Despite these limitations, there are several implications for future research and Community Caf? leaders. For future research, the results can be used to develop a standardized measure to evaluate Caf?s based on the clusters of benefits. For leadership and others who host Caf?s, the results may help to better understand the strengths and weakness of Caf?s and focus their energy on the benefits that were rated as important, but were rated less strongly as achieved.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by SAMANTHA CARANNANTE.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Forthun, Larry F.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042962:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042962/00001

Material Information

Title: Strengthening Families Through Community Cafes An Evaluation Study
Physical Description: 1 online resource (122 p.)
Language: english
Creator: CARANNANTE,SAMANTHA
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: CAFE -- COMMUNITY -- CONCEPT -- EVALUATION -- FACTORS -- FAMILIES -- FAMILY -- PROTECTIVE -- STRENGTHENING
Family, Youth and Community Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Family, Youth and Community Sciences thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Community Caf?s are a conversational approach to promoting the Center for the Study of Social Policy Strengthening Families Protective Factors, which include parental resilience, concrete support in times of need, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, and fostering social and emotional competence of children.Since this is a new approach to strengthening families, no rigorous evaluation has been conducted to date. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefits of Community Caf?s. The evaluation was conducted using Concept Mapping (Kane &Trochim, 2007). Data collection occurred in three steps ? brainstorming, sorting, and rating. First, sixty-six participants brainstormed ideas based on what they believe are benefits of Caf?s. This list was refined to eighty-three benefits. Participants then conducted a card sort based on how they thought the benefits should be grouped into conceptually similar categories. In the final step, participants completed questionnaires rating each benefit on a scale of one to five based on the importance of the occurrence of each benefit and whether the benefit was achieved as a result of participation. Data analysis was completed using Concept Systems Software?. Through a similarity matrix and multidimensional scaling a point map was created placing the statements on the map based on how often they were sorted together. Then through hierarchical cluster analysis, nine-clusters of benefits were identified. The clusters related to the environment of respect and equality, personal expression and discovery, and parenting consistently had the highest mean ratings in both achievement and importance. Overall, each cluster of benefits was rated highly in terms of importance and achievement. There are several limitations to this study that suggest caution in interpreting the results. Despite these limitations, there are several implications for future research and Community Caf? leaders. For future research, the results can be used to develop a standardized measure to evaluate Caf?s based on the clusters of benefits. For leadership and others who host Caf?s, the results may help to better understand the strengths and weakness of Caf?s and focus their energy on the benefits that were rated as important, but were rated less strongly as achieved.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by SAMANTHA CARANNANTE.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Forthun, Larry F.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042962:00001


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1 STRENGTHENING FAMILI ES THROUGH COMMUNITY CAFS: AN EVALUATION STUDY By SAMANTHA CARANNANTE A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011

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2 2011 Samantha Carannante

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3 To my family and friends

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my family and friends for their continual support and encouragement over these last two years. Without their love and support I would not have made it this far. I thank my parents, Jim and Gail, for always having confidence in me and pu shing m e to never give up. I thank my G randma for being my sounding board and holding me accountable throughout this process. I thank Grandma and my brothers Christopher, Nicholas and Nick for believing in me. I would also like to thank my friends, especi ally Michael and Christy for the constant encouragement to press on toward the goal. I would like to thank Larry Forthun and David Diehl for providing the opportunity to work with them and conduct this evaluation in conjunction with United Way Worldwide. This has been an incredible learning experience and I thank them for helping me through this process.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ............................. 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 12 Purpose Statement ................................ ................................ ................................ 15 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 16 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ................................ ................................ .................... 17 Family Stress Theory ................................ ................................ .............................. 17 Protective Factors Literature Review ................................ ................................ ...... 22 Community Caf Literature Review ................................ ................................ ........ 29 Concept Mapping Literature Review ................................ ................................ ....... 41 3 METHODS ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 47 Purpose ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 47 Design ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 47 Sample ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 48 Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 49 Method ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 51 Procedure ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 52 Brainstorming ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 54 Sorting ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 55 Rating ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 56 Data analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 57 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 60 Research Question 1 ................................ ................................ .............................. 60 Research Question 2 ................................ ................................ .............................. 60 Research Question 3 ................................ ................................ .............................. 64 Research Que stion 4 ................................ ................................ .............................. 68 Research Question 5 ................................ ................................ .............................. 72

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6 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 78 Association with Protective Factors ................................ ................................ ........ 81 Association with Community Caf Core Principles ................................ ................. 86 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 92 Implications ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 94 APPENDIX A RATING PACKET ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 97 B AVERAG E STATEMENT RATINGS OF IMPORTANCE ................................ ...... 108 C AVERAGE STATEMENT RATINGS OF ACHIEVEMENT ................................ .... 111 D IRB APPROVAL ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 114 E INFORMED CONSENT FORM ................................ ................................ ............. 115 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 117 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 122

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 CSSP protective factors and definitions ................................ ............................. 24 2 2 World Caf and Community Caf design principles ................................ ........... 34 3 1 Demographic frequency table ................................ ................................ ............. 50 3 2 Mean demographics ................................ ................................ ........................... 51 4 1 Nine cluster sort solution ................................ ................................ .................... 63 4 2 Cluster statistics for ratings of importance ................................ .......................... 65 4 3 Statements with highest ratings of importance ................................ ................... 67 4 4 Statements with lowest ratings of importance ................................ ..................... 68 4 5 Cluster statistics for ratings of achievement ................................ ....................... 69 4 6 Statements with highest ratings of achievement ................................ ................. 71 4 7 Statements with lowest ratings of achievement ................................ .................. 72 5 1 Clusters associated with protective factors ................................ ......................... 81 5 2 Cluster associations with core principles of Community Cafs ........................... 88 5 3 Clusters associated with Community Caf core strategies ................................ 90

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 Point map ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 61 4 2 Cluster map with points ................................ ................................ ...................... 62 4 3 Cluster rating map of importance ................................ ................................ ........ 66 4 4 Cluster rating map of achievement ................................ ................................ ..... 70 4 5 Pattern match comparison of importance and achievement ratings ................... 74 4 6 Bivariate graph of average importance and achievement ratings of each statement ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 75

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9 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S CSSP Center for the Study of Social Policy TANF Temporary Aid for Needy Families

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10 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science STRENGTHENING FAMILIES THROUGH COMMUNITY CAFS: AN EVALUATION STUDY By Samantha Carannante May 2011 Chair: Larry Forthun Major: Family, Youth, and Community Sciences Community Cafs are a conversational approach to promoting the Center for the Study of Social Policy Strengthening Families Protective Factors which include parental resilience, concrete support in times of need, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, and fostering social and emotional competence of children .Sinc e this is a new approach to strengthening families, no rigorous evaluation has been conducted to date. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefits of Community Cafs. The evaluation was conducted using Concept Mapping (Kane &Trochim, 2007). Dat a collection occurred in three steps brainstorming, sorting, and rating. First, sixty six participants brainstormed ideas based on what they be lieve are benefits of Cafs. This list was refined to eighty three benefits. Participants then conducted a card sort based on how they thought the benefits should be grouped into conceptually similar categories. In the final step, participants completed questionnaires rating each benefit on a scale of one to five based on the importance of the occurrence of ea ch be nefit and whether the benefit was achieved as a result of participation.

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11 Data analysis was completed using Concept Systems Software. Through a similarity matrix and multidimensional scaling a point map was created placing the statements on the map based on how often they were sorted together. Then through hierarchical cluster analysis, nine clusters of benefits were identified. The clusters related to the environment of respect and equality, personal expression and discovery, and parenting consistently ha d the highest mean ratings in both achievement and importance. Overall, each cluster of benefits was rated highly in terms of importance and achievement. There are several limitations to this study that suggest caution in interpreting the results. Despite these limitations, there are several implications for future research and Community Caf leaders. For future research, the results can be used to develop a standardized measure to evaluate Cafs bas ed on the clusters of benefits. For leadership and others who host Cafs, the results may help to better understand the strengths and weakness of Cafs and focus their energy on the benefits that were rated as important, but were rated less strongly as achieved.

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Parents play a vital role in child development. Research shows that parenting is greatly affected by psychological distress (Kotchick, Dorsey, & Heller, 2005; McLoyd, 1990; Parke, Coltrane, Duffy, Buriel, Dennis, Powers, French, &Widama n, 2004). Psychological distress can develop due to high levels of stress caused by both normative and non normative stressors. Normative stressors consist of everyday stresses such as working and paying bills, whereas non normative stressors, such as a de ath in the family, are events of change (Patterson, 2002). Although all families deal with stress in some capacity, some are at a greater risk for elevated distress that may lead to an increase in risk for lack of involvement, neglect, and abuse of childre n (McLoyd, 1990). Positive parenting and reducing distress are essential to healthy child development. Research shows that when parents serve as positive role models, are involved and show high concern for their children, areas of social competency, avoidance of risky behavior, and school performance improve (Moore, Whitney, &Kinukawa, 2009). It is also shown that warmth and affection in child parent interactions can positively influence self esteem, academic performance, and communication (Child Tre nds, 2003). Although families may be under stress and these attributes may not be visible, there are ways to promote and increase positive parenting. One way to encourage and strengthen parenting is to increase and promote protective factors. Protective f actors are those assets, characteristics, and people that help buffer the affect of risk (Masten& Wright, 1998). According to family stress theory, protective factors can moderate the effects of stress in families and lead to healthier

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13 coping (Kotchick et al., 2005). Various protective factors have been identified in stress theory research that can contribute to an increase in positive outcomes (Masten& Wright, 1998). The Center for the Study of Social Policy developed a framework of five factors that have been shown to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and Strengthening Families Initiative and United Way Strengthening Families. It is seen as a preventative framewo rk that can help to reduce child abuse and neglect. The framework incorporates four factors that focus on parents and one focused on children. The parental factors are parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of need, and knowledg e of parenting and child development (CSSP, 2008). The fostering of social and emotional competence in children is the fifth factor in this framework. Family research supports the use of protective factors, and family stress theory provides evidence of the benefits of these factors. The CSSP framework aligns with theory and research and is therefore a strong foundation to build upon (Horton, 2003). Various methods are used to develop protective factors and strengthen families (Horton, 2003). One such techn ique is the Community Caf approach, which is a strengths based practice that can be used to promote protective factors and positive community setting, parents participate in a series of guided conversations that emphasize protective factors. Cafs are a means to intervene and further healthy family foster growth and development of protective fact ors in parents and families through conversations. This conversational approach encourages relationship building, support,

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14 and leadership. Cafs encourage parents to connect with others and become more involved in the community. Parent leadership is promot ed, with each caf being hosted by two parent leaders. The goal of the Community Caf is to foster leadership and to promote protective factors to strengthen families within communities (National Alliance ommunity Caf approach stemmed from the Illinois Parent Cafs, both of which are based on the integration of the World Trust & Prevention Fund, 2008). The World Caf mode l is an approach to engaging people in conversation through which knowledge is shared (Brown, Isaacs, and World Caf Community, 2005). According to Robin Higathis integrated, conversational approach is a newer practice in the family setting. 1 Due to the ne wness of this method, little has been done in terms of evaluation. The recent growth and implementation of Cafs increases the need for a formal evaluation. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate Community Cafs and identify benefits that they provide for families. The outcomes are relatively unknown, apart from testimonials of participants. This study will help to better understand what truly occurs as a result of Cafs and the participants and the community benefit from the process. The me thod that will be employed to evaluate Cafs is concept mapping, a structured method used to conceptualize and visually represent ideas in planning and evaluation (Trochim, 1989a; Kane &Trochim, 2007). This is a respected form of evaluation that can be use d to recognize the benefits of community based programs. 1 (R. Higa, person communication, Dec. 18, 2009)

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15 Concept mapping is a participatory approach that gives a voice to those involved; participants actively take part in each step of the process (Kane &Trochim, 2007). There are three steps to completin g the data collection process, brainstorming, sorting, and rating. During the brainstorming step a comprehensive list of concepts is generated through various brainstorming sessions conducted with participants (Kane &Trochim, 2007). The second step is a ca rd sort in which participants sort the concepts based on similarities. Rating concludes the process and consists of a questionnaire that participants complete based on the generated concepts. The questionnaire solicits t each benefit is and whether this benefit was achieved through their participation in Community Cafs. Through these three steps several questions will be addressed and an overall appreciation and understanding of the benefits of Community Cafs will be g ained. Purpose Statement Parenting strongly influences child developmental outcomes, yet there are many factors that impact parenting. Economic, neighborhood and other forms of stress can have a negative effect on parents and their relationships with thei r children. Therefore, it is important to focus efforts on strengthening families and reducing family stress. By increasing protective factors in parents, families are strengthened, healthy development is increased, and the risk of negative outcomes decrea se. Community Cafs are one community based approach to strengthening families through the implementation of protective factors. Although, Cafs have a strong foundation in the World Caf model and the Strengthening Families Framework, there is a lack of e valuation of this practice. The purpose, therefore, is to evaluate Cafs through the use of concept mapping. This

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16 process will further increase knowledge of the benefits and outcomes of the Community Caf approach. Research Questions Five Research Questi ons were used to guide this evaluation of Community Cafs. Research Question 1 asked What are the perceived benefits of Community Cafs identified by participants? How do participants structure these concepts in terms of similarity? R esearch Q uestion 3 How important is it to participants that these perceived benefits occur through Community Cafs? R esearch Q uestion How much are these perceived benefits achieved through Commun ity Cafs? R esearch Q uestion How do the concepts relate to each other in terms of importance and achievement? answered through the use of Concept Mapping.

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17 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of the benefits of Community Cafs for parents and others who participate. To conduct this evaluation it is necessary to understand the theoretical foundation of the approach. Family stress theory, the protective factors framework developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy, and dialogical theory provide a lens through which to understand Cafs. The evaluation will be done through the use of concept mapping, a method that honors the spirit of the Caf process. The following review of literature provides the foundation for understanding the purpose and underpinnings of the evaluation of Community Cafs. Family Stress Theory Family stress theory is a mid range theory t hat has been used to understand how families respond to stress and distress in different ways. The study of family stress families move through in crisis situations (Smith, 198 4). According to this model the demands on the family (A) interact with the capabilities and resources of the family (B) through which the family then creates meaning of the situation (C). If there is an imbalance between the demands (A) and capabilities ( B) then stress results and leads to family crisis (X) (McCubbin, Sussman& Patterson, 1983; Patterson, 2002; Smith, 1984). For example, if a family experiences the death of a loved one (A), resources (B) such as dependable family relationships may help fami ly members cope (Goddard & Allen, 1991). However, each family member may create a different meaning in order to cope with the grief and stress of losing a loved one (C). If there is an imbalance between the demands (grieving), resources (undependable relat ionships), and

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18 meanings created (death should bring the family together) then crisis (X) may occur (Goddard & Allen, 1991). The ABCX model has provided a way to consider how families respond to the stress in their lives, and how resources, demands, and mea nings can contribute to the avoidance or occurrence of crises. Since its development, this model has since been tested and further developed to include other constructs, such as coping and resilience (McCubbin, 1979; Patterson, 2002). Coping and resilien ce are both important factors in predicting family stress. All families experience stress to some extent, but each family deals with it in different ways. It is important to understand how families adapt and cope with stress and what factors are present to overcome the obstacles they face. McCubbin (1979) reviewed various showed involvement in community or collective support groups, family stability, interpersonal rela tionships, and family regenerative power were all factors that normative stressors (McCubbin, 1979). In addition to coping family resilience has been included in the th eory through the Family Adjustment and Adaptation Response (FAAR) Model (Patterson, 2002). According to Patterson (2002), resilience is competent functioning after high exposure to risk. To understand family resilience, then, the significant risk and prote ctive factors must be taken into account. Protective factors strengthen families and help them to function competently in light of risk factors. Chronic stressors, such as living in poverty, can lead to high levels of stress in families. However, research shows that

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19 familyprotective factors and resilience can buffer the impact of these stressors (Patterson 2002). Many studies have been conducted using family stress theory as the framework. nd non normative stressors including external stressors on families. In a recent study, White, Roosa, Weaver and Nair (2009) used a sample of 570 Mexican American two parent homes to evaluate the effects of neighborhood, economic, and cultural stress facto rs on parenting. Mexican American families were assessed because they tend to hold more traditional views toward gender roles and two parent families are the norm even among low income families (White et al., 2009). Therefore, the researchers sought to und erstand how cultural, economic, and neighborhood stressors affected parenting through parental depression, warmth, and consistent discipline. Viewing this through hypot hesized to interact with family structure and parenting behaviors (B). Perceived imbalances between these factors (C) could lead to family crisis (X), which may manifest in increased levels of parental depression and less consistent discipline and warmth ( White et al., 2009). Results were consistent with the theory and showed that economic hardship and cultural stress were related to increases in depressive symptoms, which were also related to decreased warmth and consistent discipline (White et al., 2009). Mothers in this study showed to be less effected by economic and neighborhood stress, which the researchers hypothesized could be related to family structure (White et al., 2009). The results of this study support and provide further evidence of how stres s affects parenting and families.

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20 Other studies of family stress theory have also evaluated the impact of economic, cultural, and neighborhood stressors on families and parenting (Magnuson &Votruba Drzal, 2009; McLoyd, 1990). These studies have assessed h ow stressors affect parenting through parental distress and negative parenting behaviors. All of these reviews and studies have shown the impact that stress has on parents and children, and many have considered how stress contributes to depression and less positive parenting. Magnuson and Votruba Drzal (2009) report that higher levels of stress are linked to psychological distress. Psychological distress is linked to harsher, inconsistent, less nurturing parenting behaviors (Magnuson &Votruba Drzal, 2009). review supports the same findings that economic hardship is linked to psychological distress, which in turn influences parenting behaviors. Parents facing distress due to difficulty coping with circumstances (p. 335). Research shows that factors such as social and financial support, can mediate psychological distress (McCloyd, 1990). Although research still focuses on the stressors facing families, there has been a shift to also consider the protective factors and characteristics that help families to overcome the negative effects of stress. To evaluate the impact of protective factors on neighborhood stress, Kotchick and colleagues (2005) tested a buffere d model of family stress. This longitudinal study of 123 African American single mothers focused on the stressors of psychological functioning and neighborhood stress on parenting (Kotchick et al., 2005). The researchers examined social support as a buffer against the negative effects of neighborhood and economic stress on psychological functioning and parenting. The

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21 goal was to determine if parents who had higher levels of social support had lower levels of distress due to neighborhood and economic stress (Kotchik et al., 2005). Kotchick and colleagues (2005) also evaluated if there were correlations between parental distress, parenting behaviors, and social support, and found that there were significant correlations between the three factors being assessed The results showed that parents with higher levels of social support had lower levels of distress due to neighborhood/environmental stress. They also practiced more positive parenting behaviors, such as more monitoring, consistency, and better parent chi ld relationships (Kotchick et al., 2005). In another study, Bigbee (1992) proposed hardiness as a protective factor against the stressors of life events and the occurrence of illness. Hardiness refers to the characteristics and ability to survive and flou rish through hardship (Bigbee, 1992). Results showed that there was a correlation between stress and illness occurrence, and that hardiness was a moderating factor between these (Bigbee, 1992). Significant correlations were found between hardiness and occu rrence of illness, which shows hardiness may have a direct and/or buffering effect on the relationship between stress and illness (Bigbee, 1992). In a similar study, McCubbin (1988) evaluated the influence the protective factors family type, resources, and coping had on families with mild to severe chronically ill children. Although results varied slightly between groups, the support all proved to be protective factors in families with chronically ill children (McCubbin, 1988).

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22 In conclusion, family stress theory provides a lens through which the processes and interactions between risk and protective factors can be studied. Factors, such as social, family, or financial support have shown to buffer the effects of stress on parents and families (Kotchick et al., 2005; McCloyd, 1990; White et al., 2009). The inclusion of protective factors in the study of family stress has broadened the spectrum and understanding of how ris k and protective factors influence the family. Although families continue to face stressors, understanding the protective factors that can help to protect against risk can be beneficial. A variety of protective factors have been identified in research, and due to the different aspects to consider there is not a consistent set of protective factors. Protective Factors Literature Review According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009), protective factors are those characteristics or factors that act as a buffer against a variety of risks. Risk factors, on the other hand, are individual, family, and community factors that put children in greater danger of being a victim of abuse or neglect (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009). M asten and Wright (1998) assert that in the presence of one or more risk factors a factor that ameliorates the effect of those risks is considered a protective factor. Consistent with family stress theory, the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) d eveloped a framework of five protective factors believed to prevent and reduce the stressors that may lead to child abuse and neglect (Horton, 2003). This framework was developed through discussions with a national advisory panel, researchers in child abus e and neglect, and family support fields (Horton, 2003). After establishing the Protective Factors framework, the CSSP conducted a two year study on early care and

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23 education programs and an extensive literature review on how these programs can work to prom ote protective factors (Horton, 2003). Research shows that protective factors can have a buffering effect against the negative effects of risk factors and stressors (Horton, 2003; Kotchick, et al 2005; Muslow, Caldera, Pursley, Reifman, & Houston, 2002). The CSSP Protective Factors framework has been used as the foundation of on building protective factors in families through early childcare centers, child welfare dep artments, and other programs working with families (CSSP, 2008). The goal is to increase protective factors that will promote strong, healthy families (Horton, 2003). The Protective Factors framework consists of five factors, four of which are directly rel ated to parents and on of which is directly related to child development. The Strengthening Families approach seeks to increase the protective factors of parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete suppor t in times of need, and the social and emotional competence of children ( Table 2 1, p. 25; Horton, 2003). The first of these five factors is parental resilience. Although family resilience is one of the overall goals of Strengthening Families, it begins wi th resilient parent(s). Resilience is often defined as the ability to successfully overcome adversity (McCubbin&McCubbin, 2005; Patterson, 2002). Specifically, parental resilience is of family life, National Resource Center, 2007). Resilient parents are better able to adapt and

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24 maintain positive attitudes in the face of hardship (CSSP, 2008). If parents s uccessfully manage both chronic and acute stressors they are more apt to practice positive parenting behaviors in every day life (Patterson, 2002). Table 2 1. CSSP protective factors and d efinitions Protective Factor Definition Parental Resilience The a bility to bounce back and overcome adversity and the stresses of life. Social connections Family, friends, and neighbors that provide social, emotional, and concrete support to parents. Knowledge of parenting and child development Appropriate understanding of child development and expectations for behavior, and information on raising children. Concrete support in times of need Formal and informal supports (TANF and Medicaid) to increase financial security to cover daily and unexpected costs. Social and emotional competence Through nurturing and attachment parents social and emotional skills. As defined by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (2008) and FRIENDS National Resou rce Center (2007) There are many characteristics of parental resilience including strength, flexibility, and the ability to cope with stress (Strengthening Families Illinois, 2007). Similarly, hardiness contributes to resilience in strengthening individuals abilities to overcome stress (Bigbee, 1992). Other personal characteristics, su ch as high self esteem, have consistently shown to have a buffering effect on negative stressors as well (Thoits, 1995). Patterson (2002) also asserts that coping abilities and strategies can contribute to parental resilience. These characteristics of resi lience can be influenced in several ways. Parents that learn how to manage, prevent, and cope with stress are more likely to be resilient when facing hardship (Child Welfare Information Gateway, Children's Bureau, & FRIENDS National Resource Center For Com munity Based Child Abuse

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25 Prevention, 2010). Parents that have higher levels of support have also been shown to be more resilient. The second factor, social connections, can be defined as the social, emotional and concrete support gained from family, frien ds, neighbors, and others within the community (Armstrong, Birnie Lefcovitch&Ungar, 2005; CSSP, 2008). Social support can be provided through emotional support, positive interactions, and affection (Armstrong et al., 2005). According to research, social su pport often has a mediating effect on parental stress (Armstrong et al., 2005; Kotchick et al., 2005; Mulsow et al., 2002; White et al., 2009). Results from two studies showed that social support had a buffering effect against cultural, neighborhood, and e conomic stress (Kotchik et al 2005; White et al., 2009). These connections and relationships are essential to healthy well being. Social connections and support provide an outlet through which parents can relieve stress. Research shows that isolation co ntributes to greater levels of stress, which leads to higher risk of child maltreatment (Horton, 2003). Therefore in order to combat isolation, social connections must be formed to increase social support. There is a significant amount of empirical eviden ce supporting that social connections have protective effects against the risks of economic disadvantage. Results from a study by Hashima and Amato (1994), suggest that social support is especially important for parents living in poverty and can have a buf fering effect on economic stresses. In a review of literature Barnett (2008) found that social support is often a "critical moderator" between economic disadvantage, parenting, and parenting distress (p. 147). Another longitudinal study looked at the prote ctive effects of social support on parental stress among mothers within three years after having a child. Support groups

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26 for parents with infants in similar developmental stages provided stress relief for mothers (Muslow et al., 2002). Social support has consistently shown to be a protective factor against various stressors and is essential to strengthening families. Knowledge of parenting and child development is another key factor in strengthening families and preventing child abuse and neglect. Accordi ng to the CSSP (2008), knowledge of parenting and child development consists of an appropriate understanding of child development, expected child behavior, and information on raising children. Due to lack of knowledge, parents may overreact or not understa nd why their children are behaving in a particular way. Research has found that parents may get child is actually behaving developmentally age appropriate (Horton, 2003 ). Knowledge of parenting and child development is important so parents understand why their child is behaving a certain way and/or how to handle a child at a certain age. Parenting education and support programs have been used to emphasize different aspe cts of parenting and child development. One form of parenting education is to increase knowledge of child development (Horton, 2003). According to Horton (2003), support and education can be in the form of general education programs, support programs, home visitations, and combined therapy education programs. One parenting education and support method is called Triple P Positive Parenting Program (Joachim, Sanders & Turner, 2010). Joachim and colleagues (2010) evaluated the efficacy of a parent discussion group based on the Positive Parenting Program techniques. The group focused on hypothetical situations and discussed problem solving, implementation plans, and had peer support (Joachim et al., 2010). The results of this

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27 study showed that as parents gained more parental knowledge they reported less disruptive behavior, fewer cases of ineffective disciplining, and higher levels of parental confidence (Joachim et al., 2010). Increasing knowledge of parenting and child development serves as a protective factor self efficacy. The fourth factor focuses on the resources available to or held by the family. Lack of resources can create a great deal of stress in times of need. Providing concrete support to parents can help to alleviate some of the stress caused by environmental problems. Concrete support is the financial security a family has to meet daily and unexpected needs through formal and informal supports, such as TANF (Temporary Aid for Needy Families) Medicaid, an d social connections (CSSP, 2008). Research shows that economic stress has a significant effect on parental distress, which negatively influences parenting (Kotchick et al 2005; Magnuson &Votruba Drzal, 2009; McLoyd, 1990; Parke et al., 2004; White et al ., 2009). Low income parents may struggle to provide for their children due to costs; therefore, providing concrete support in times of need can be protective against the effects of lack of resources (Horton, 2003). Resources are essential to strengthening families, whether they are material or relational. Helping families to meet critical needs and even obtain medical help is one way to strengthen and protect families (Horton, 2003). The final protective factor in this framework differs from the previous four in that it more directly relates to children. Social and emotional competence is defined as the social and emotional competence of children is developed through positiv e nurturing

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28 risk factor in some cases; therefore it is essential that parents nurture healthy development of these skills (Horton, 2003). Research affirms that social an d emotional competence contributes to school readiness and more positive relationships (Denham &Weissberg, 2004). These skills include learning how to communicate, deal with problems, express themselves, and other necessary social skills (Horton, 2003). Re search also shows that social and emotional competence is a vital aspect of child development, and it is imperative for parents and other caring adults to foster the development of these skills through positive nurturing and attachment. (Denham &Weissberg, 2004). All five of the protective factors identified in the CSSP framework are positively correlated with each other and are used in the Strengthening Families approach to develop healthy families through community support (Horton, 2003). Stressors and ri sks will always be present to some degree, and it is crucial that protective factors be strengthened and developed within families. These protective factors help to ameliorate the risk and decrease vulnerability to the cumulative effects of risk of numerou s stressors affecting families (Masten& Wright, 1998). Therefore, family stress can be reduced through the increase of protective factors present in families. The Strengthening Families protective factors can be promoted in families through early childcare centers, family support programs, schools, and any other programs working with families. Through community and program efforts, protective factors can be increased and families strengthened.

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29 Community Caf Literature Review "Something fundamental changes when people begin to ask questions together. The questions create more of a learning conversation than the normal stale debate about problems." Mike Szymanczyk, Chairman and CEO, The Altria Group "When conversation is connected and alive, action will emer ge naturally." Juanita Brown, 2001, p. 178). Community Cafs provide a setting for parents to participate in guided conversations focused on the protective factors. During a caf, parents rotate around (Hurley & Brown, 2009, p. 2). Unlike a traditional parent support group, the goal of Cafs is to emphasize the protective factors in an effort to strengthen families and communities and create change. The Community C af is founded upon the belief that every family, parent, and child, has an "inalienable right to the five protective factors" leaders are trained in Caf techniques and lead the Cafs. Through this parent leadership is increased and more mentorship opportunities occur. The Community Caf approach is a combination of World Caf principles and the t and Prevention Funds, 2008). A core belief of Community Cafs is that social change can Prevention Funds, 2008, p. 57). Conversations are at the heart of the Caf model, a nd lead to collaborative learning. The World Caf model is based on the belief that everyone has wisdom and creativity through which "networks of conversation and social ons

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30 allow people to share their wisdom and gain a deeper understanding of what matters to the group (Brown et al., 2005). Meaningful conversations and dialogue bring about collective intelligence and shared meaning (Brown, 2001). Through conversations a gr oup collaboration of thinking occurs, where knowledge is shared, understanding is developed, and communities are strengthened (Brown et al., 2005). Conversations are not unique to Cafs, but Cafs provide a safe outlet through which conversations are foste red and encouraged. The foundation of Cafs is built upon dialogical theories and the work of theorists such as David Bohm and Paulo Freire (Brown, 2001). Bohm believed that a culture of dialogue is necessary for society to survive, and emphasized the imp ortance of collective dialogue (as cited in Brown, 2001, p. 64). He also stressed the power of dialogue, and the deeper knowledge that could be gained through collective insight (Brown, 2001). Dialogue is a complex process through which sharing and listeni ng combine to allow for a deeper level of meaning to be developed. Knowledge is shared, developed, and passed on through conversations creating collective insight and learning (Brown et al., 2005). This approach focuses on the generative order of conversat ion. Generative order, as Bohm and Peat (2000) identified it, refers to continuous development and contribution to the whole. Bohm and Peat (2000) describe this order in the creation of a painting, in which a painter begins with an idea and moves slowly th rough the process of developing the painting as a whole. In the process of conversation, generative order is the continuing growth of collective intelligence as conversations occur over time (Bohm& Peat, 2000; Brown, 2001). Collective intelligence is gaine d through dialogues in which shared meaning and discoveries are made

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31 (Brown, 2001). Freire, too, considered dialogue as a critical thinking process, in which reflection and action contribute to collective knowledge (as cited in Brown, 2001, p. 85). Critica l thinking is essential and allows for the transformation and reinvention of knowledge through conversations (Brown, 2001). The World Caf model was greatly influenced by the hypotheses and methodologies of dialogical theorists, viewing dialogue as social inquiry, transformative, and contributing to collective wisdom (Brown, 2001). The dialogical expressions of both Bohm and Freire emphasize the wisdom of ordinary people and the transformative nature of dialogue (Brown, 2001). In conjunction with dialogica l theories, learning and knowledge are socially constructed through appreciative inquiry. Appreciative inquiry acknowledges that no one approach is right but rather there are "multiple ways of knowing" that can all contribute to the greater whole. The use of appreciative inquiry furthers the conversational processes that contribute to collective inquiry and insight. Brown and colleagues (2005) describe how through these dialogical principles the World Caf model was began in January of 1995. Founders Juanit a Brown and David a group of executives, researchers, and consultants (Brown et al., 2005, p. 14). This meeting was part of a series of formal dialogues being held, but due to inclement weather the hosts were forced to improvise. Tables were set up and covered with easel paper, crayons set out, and flowers on the table. Members of the pioneer group arrived and settled in at tables enjoying conversations over breakfast Rather than disrupt the conversations taking place, Brown and Isaacs decided to forego the formal dialogue circle originally planned. Almost an hour into the morning someone suggested switching

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32 tables in order to gain from what others were discussing as well. One member from each table stayed at the current table, while others traveled around the room to other tables. People wrote on the easel paper tablecloths and shared from one conversation to the next, cross pollinating and harvesting information gath ered from each (Brown et al., 2005). The collective group intelligence grew as conversations were shared around the room. The group brought together their various tablecloths and identified the key ersations brought about a unique form of collaborative thinking and knowledge that proved to be successful. Thus, the World Caf model was born. Drawing on the World Caf model, Community Cafs operate under the same dialogical principles ( Table 2 2, p. 35). Community Cafs focus on dialogue as an essential process to learning and creating change. In conjunction with these dialogical principles, Community Cafs function from a knowledge base built upon three areas: protective factors are nec essary for families and children to thrive, leadership begins within one's self and transforms communities, and parent partnerships impact policy, 2008). Through the condui t of conversations each of these areas contributes to strengthening families. Community Cafs incorporate the CSSP Protective Factors through questions and conversations focused on the various factors protective factors, such as social support or parental resilience. Parents are encouraged to become leaders and take ownership within their community. Cafs also promote leadership through parent hosts leading Cafs and mentoring other parents (National Alliance of The parent leadership and partnerships

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33 that are developed through conversations and Cafs contribute to impacting the community on various levels. As parents develop as leaders and the community is strengthened, parents join together to impact policy, pra ctice, and programs. Conversations are instrumental in developing the protective factors, parent leaders, and impacting the community. help to lead conversations and pro vide a context for social learning (Brown & Isaacs, 1996, p. 4). These questions focus on protective factors and help families to develop their strengths. The questions that are developed guide the conversations and future questions that may arise, therefo re developing questions that matter is at the heart of the Caf process. Trust and Prevention Funds, 2008). Every conversation focuses on strengthening and developing protecti experiences, emphasizing what they know, what they can share, and how they can grow. The goal of the Caf is to, "Change the lives of children through conversations that matter" (Natio (2001) identifies Caf conversations different from other conversational approaches in that it focuses on asking and discovering the "right" questions, exploring deeper, catalytic question s, and finding themes in the conversation based on the question(s) (p. 148). This dialogue leads to change as people discover, reflect, and harvest new ideas that lead to implementation and action (Brown et al., 2005).

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34 Table 2 2. World Caf and Communit y Caf design p rinciples Design Principles Description Setting the context boundaries in which the Caf will take place, including the purpose, participants, and parameters Create hospitable space Establishing a physical, social environment that is conducive to conversation, collaboration, and creativity Explore questions that matter Developing and asking questions that promote constructive conversation and lead to innovation Cross pollinate and connect diverse perspectives As conversations take place, different perspectives, collaboration, and insights contribute to new thinking Listen together for patterns, insights, and deeper questions Collaboratively listening, reflecting, and discovering differen t ideas, perspectives, connections, and questions Harvest and share collective discoveries Collecting the knowledge created and shared through the Caf conversations, possibly in visual form Brown et al., 2005 There are six guiding principles to the World and Community Caf framework: (1) (Hurley & Brown, 2009, p. 6). These principles form the foundation of this conversational, collaborative approach. The first principle, clarify the context, is essential in fostering collaborative convers ations. Setting the context prior to hosting the Caf is essential to the process of promoting community and conversation (Brown et al., 2005). The three key elements of

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35 the context are the purpose, participants, and parameters (Brown et al., 2005). It is important to clarify the context in order to determine the purpose and questions that matter (Hurley & Brown, 2009). The first step to setting the context is establishing the purpose. This begins with identifying the current situation and why the Caf bein g held determine the participants to invite and the parameters to set. Typically Community Cafs are focused on parents, but it is beneficial to include social service prov iders and other leadership in order to incorporate other perspectives. The parameters for Cafs can be as creative or traditional as the host(s) desire, and should be established based on the purpose of the Caf (Brown et al., 2005). The location, resource s, and setup should all be established within the context parameters as well (Brown et al., 2005). These three elements of setting the context are the first steps to preparing and hosting a Caf. The second design principle is creating a hospitable space. In an example of a large group Caf, Isaacs' recounts some of the steps taken to create a warm, inviting environment in which conversations can develop (as cited in Brown, 2001, p. 110). An inform al setting was set up with small tables covered in paper that participants could write/draw on, along with the hosts interacting with participants and encouraging mutual hospitality (Brown, 2001). Cafs should be inviting and comfortable, a place where peo ple feel free to dialogue and express their thoughts openly (Brown, 2001). They should also create a fun and creative atmosphere, which allows for collaborative conversations to take place (Brown, 2001). Creating a hospitable space and clarifying the conte xt of Cafs are two essential pieces of Cafs.

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36 Principle three, exploring questions that matter, is at the core of hosting Cafs. Dialogical theory provides the foundation for this principle. Based on this theory, it is essential that prior to the Caf, c lear and concise questions be developed. Catalytic and provocative questions set the stage and help to create meaningful, collaborative conversations that lead to future change (Brown, 2001). Brown and Isaacs (1996) express the importance of formulating pe netrating questions that provoke a thoughtful array of responses and challenge underlying assumptions. The quality of questions asked influences collective knowledge and learning processes (Brown, 2001; Brown & Isaacs, 1996). Likewise, these questions help groups look to the future and to collaboratively explore ideas and perspectives (Hechenbleikner, Gilburg&Dunnell, 2009). Questions and conversations of Cafs have also helped to bring groups together and boost morale (Jongeneel& Randall, 2009). People are motivated by questions, and they help to reframe issues (Hurley & Brown, 2009). Based on dialogical theory, questions that matter help facilitate meaningful conversations that can lead to change. In a Caf on questions, participants identified the value o f framing and developing questions that lead to collective inquiry and don't stop with one answer (Brown, 2001). Participants stated that questions should be used to reframe thinking from problems and issues to possibilities (Brown, 2001). The following qu estions are examples of questions focused on the CSSP protective factors. can count on? Think of a time when you needed support, and how this person helped

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37 2008, p. 39) Questions should evoke creativity and collective inquiry among the group (Brown, 2001). The questions should be relevant and genuine, and should evoke thought and further questions (Brown et al., 2005). Formulating questions that matter is essential t o the Caf framework. Cafs are designed to facilitate and enhance the collaboration of knowledge and thinking between participants. By rotating around tables and taking part in conversations with various small groups the learning network expands beyond r egular small group interactions. Cafs are designed to value and encourage the cross pollination of ideas and connect diverse perspectives (Principle 4). The general nature of Cafs allows for creative flow in conversation in which participants do not get stuck but rather carry on their conversations to each group discussion (Brown, 2001). As participants move about the room to different conversations, they not only share their own ideas but the perspectives they have gained from others through conversation s (Brown et al., 2005; Brown, 2001). This unique system, in which diverse perspectives are welcome, allows for cross pollination through conversations to enhance collective intelligence (Brown et al., 2005). In this unique system, conversations are a means through which rich perspectives emerge and are integrated (Brown, 2001). As Brown and colleagues (1997) expressed, the dialogues that begin in Cafs never end, but instead continue on

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3 8 Conversations are not just a matter of speaking but of engaging in listening as well. Listening together to gain further insight contributes to the collective nature of Cafs (Principle 5). Collective listening leads to identifying patterns, insights, and deeper questions (Hur ley & Brown, 2009). The goal of Caf conversations is to not only listen personally but rather beyond the individual to deeper meaning (Brown, 2001). Participants are encouraged to listen together for deeper questions, patterns, and themes that emerge thro ugh the cross pollination of ideas through conversations (Brown, 2001). It is important that participants are provided time to reflect silently and as a whole on the conversations (Brown et al., 2005). Different from other instances of dialogue, participan ts become responsible for sharing and connecting ideas with the larger whole beyond their own personal thoughts and ideas (Brown, 2001; Brown et al., 2005). This collective listening contributes to coherence of ideas, community, and strengthening families. As the group, or system, identifies themes and patterns, unity and shared meaning emerges (Brown, 2001). This system thinking and conversing as a whole contributes to greater knowledge and a "harvest of collective insight" (Principle 6) (Brown, 2001, p. 234). A key component of Caf conversations is harvesting the ideas shared together and representing them in some way. For example, one group hired a muralist to draw a visual representation as the group shared thoughts and discoveries made, while others h ave had participants walk around and review the writing and drawings on the tablecloths (Brown, 2001). This collective insight can be represented in various ways and is a useful part of gaining collective insight. As Brown, Isaacs, and Margulies (1997) sai d, "None of us is smarter than all of us" (p. 7).

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39 Community Cafs focus not only on these design principles but incorporate the aforementioned protective factors as well. The merging of these factors results in a powerful tool through which the lives of ch ildren and families can be changed (National context purpose, participants, and parameter are established based with the overarching goal of strengthening families an d building community. Questions that matter and conversations are focused on developing and incorporating the five protective factors identified by the CSSP. After these steps are completed the host(s) set up a warm, hospital space for parents to join toge ther for the Caf. Any resources, such as food and childcare are also established. As the Caf begins, the questions that The wisdom, knowledge and diverse experien ces of the participants are shared and cross pollinated through conversations around the room. The tablecloths and movement between conversations around the room allow for people to connect ideas, identify patterns, and develop collective insight. Communit y and collective intelligence are deepened through the Caf process, and families are strengthened as they focus on protective factors. In conjunction with the World Caf model and protective factors, Community Cafs have several core principles that spe cify how to implement these approaches. The Core Principles of Cooperation and strategies presented in the Community Caf Orientation Host Guide (2008) are indicators of the protective factors and Caf design. There are eleven Core Principles of Cooperatio n specified in the Community Caf Orientation Host Guide (2008). The core principles focus on different areas such as parent

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40 communities create the partnerships needed for children 2008, p. 13). The core strategies provide more detail o n promoting leadership, partnership, and strengthening families. Strategies for networking participants in leadership include, mentorship, using wisdom of local parent leaders to design Cafs, reciprocity in relationships, expression, and listening. Networ king partnership strategies include sharing collective wisdom, sharing culture, and value meaningful conversation. In terms of strengthening families, core strategies focus on strengths, co learning, trusting the wisdom present, and visualize together. Th e purpose of these key strategies and core principles is to provide more specific approaches to implementing Cafs (National upon the design principles of World Cafs an d the goal of promoting the CSSP protective factors. These strategies are used to maintain the integrity of the Caf approach but still allow for it to be adapted based on the needs of a given community Funds, 2008).

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41 The theoretical foundation of the Caf collaborative provides reason to believe that these guiding principles can lead to change not only within individual family systems but within communities as well. Dialogical theory and personal storie s have served as support thus far in the Caf collaborative. The emphasis on parent leadership engages parents as equal partners and gives them a stronger voice within the community mmunity Little research has been done on Community Cafs since their inception jus t a few years ago. As Community Cafs continue to spread across the country, it is essential that this approach be researched and evaluated. Concept Mapping Literature Review Based on the stories of participants and hosts from around the country Community Cafs have been highly successful and have a significant impact on families and communities. A formal evaluation of Cafs will provide research based evidence for what is taking place as a result of Cafs. Concept mapping provides analyses that can be uti lized in strategic planning, program evaluation, measurements, and organization (Trochim, 1989b; Kane &Trochim, 2007). The collaborative process of concept mapping allows participants to contribute and organize ideas throughout the evaluation, which fits w ell with the collaborative Community Caf approach (Kane &Trochim, 2007). According to Kane and Trochim (2007), concept mapping brings stakeholders together to conceptualize a framework that can be used in both planning and evaluation. This visual framewo rk is developed through several steps of data collection and analysis. The process of concept mapping begins with brainstorming, at which time

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42 participants generate statements based on a focus statement developed by the facilitator(s) (Trochim, 1989b). A f ocus statement typically instructs participants to, brainstormed by the participants are compile d into a comprehensive list. This list is then revised and reduced by removing statements that are duplicates, complicated, or irrelevant. The final list consists of statements representing unique and independent concepts. Next, the participants each com plete a card sort with the brainstormed ideas, grouping them based on their perception of similarities (Trochim, 1989b). The rating is the third part of the structuring portion of concept mapping. Participants rate each statement based on a given rating sc ale. For example, the statements may be rated based on how important participants think each one is or how much of a prior ity they think each concept is (Trochim, 1989b). Concept mapping has been used in many areas for both planning and evaluation purpose s. This process can be used as the starting point for formative or a summative evaluation. For example, Galvin (1989) reported how concept mapping was used as the starting point for the evaluation of a new Big Brother/Big Sister program called One to One. In this case, the state officials decided that in order for the program to receive more funding it must be evaluated to determine its effectiveness. The process began with the staff brainstorming over one hundred items describing the One to One program (i eight brainstormed items were used in the card sorts completed by each individual staff member. The

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43 concept map that was constructed consisted of twenty three groups of statements. the g roups were organized on the map by individual and group activities, social and activity In this exam ple, the brainstorming and sorting first two parts of the concept mapping process were used to create a visual map and identify outcomes of the One to One program. The map provided an understanding of how the local program operated and also highlighted key concepts that could be used in further evaluation. A questionnaire was developed based on the identified outcomes, which helped to strengthen the validity of the results (Galvin, 1989). The concept mapping process provided a means of evaluation of the One to One program that was useful for further research. In another study, concept mapping was used in a training evaluation in a large networking and engineering company in Canada (Michalski& Cousins, 2000). The evaluation took place using three stakeholder groups consisting of trainers, program sponsors, and trainees. Concept mapping was used to assess the importance of training results and training evaluation within each stakeholder group (Michalski& Cousins, 2000). The groups were instructed to brainstorm based on the focus training pro gram results that would contribute to the success of [the organization] over specific training program result that would contribute to the success of [the organization]

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44 (Michalski& Cousins, 2000, p. 216). Two hundred nineteen statements w ere generated between the three groups, and the list was refined to one hundred statements for use in the sorting and rating (Michalski& Cousins, 2000). After sorting the statements, the participants rated each item twice based on the training result impor tance (TRI) and the training evaluation importance (TEI) (Michalski& Cousins, 2000). The results of the concept mapping processes were then compared between and within groups using pattern mapping. The concepts were sorted into five groups including, cust omer value, benefits resulting from training, skills and knowledge, effective training program attributes, and employee satisfaction. Cluster rating maps and pattern matches visually showed the differences between how they viewed the importance of both tra ining evaluation and training results (Michalski& Cousins, 2000). In terms of TRI benefits resulting from training was found to be most important with customer value second. The TEI results on the other hand showed the effective training program attributes and skills and knowledge clusters as the most important. The pattern matches provided a visual representation of the comparisons between groups. This allows all of the stakeholders to see how they viewed the importance differently. For example, the traini ng providers had an inverse relationship between TRI and TEI rankings, while the program sponsors and the trainees rated the items much closer between the TRI and the TEI (Michalski& Cousins, 2000). This evaluation helped to determine stakeholder differenc es in training evaluation, including both results and evaluation criterion. (Michalski& Cousins, 2000). Concept mapping has also been used for planning and curriculum development in schools (Sutherland &Katzb, 2005). In an evaluation study done through the Manitoba

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45 School Improvement Program in Canada, concept mapping was used to support organizational learning (Sutherland &Katzb, 2005). All of the stakeholders began by sentence (Sutherland &Katzb, 2005, p. 260). The initial one hundred fifty two statements were edited down to sixty for use in the sorting and rating steps (Sutherland &Katzb, 2005). The results of the sorting and rating were used to compare teachers and students responses using a pattern match. The pattern match showed that the students and teachers rated the same three clusters as the highest, but in a slightly different order (Sutherland &Katzb two highest (inverse for teachers) (Sutherland &Katzb, 2005, p. 266). According to Sutherland and Katzb (2005), concept mapping was effective in conceptualizing the constructs of the different views and values held by the teachers and students. This participatory approach engaged all stakeholders in the evaluation process and allowed them to have ownership in the school improvement initiative (Sutherland &Katzb, 2005). Concept mapping is a versatile research tool that can be used in a wide range of fields for different purposes (Johnsen, Biegel&Shafron, 2000; Trochim, 1989a). This is a useful method throug h which complex concepts can be organized and interpreted (Johnsen et al 2000; Trochim 1989a; Trochim, 1989b). According to Kane and Trochim creativity, and motivation of th

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46 This collaborative approach is an appropriate method of evaluation for Community Cafs and will allow participants to have an active voice thr oughout the process (Kane &Trochim, 2007). Cafs are a conversational approach to promoting protective factors and strengthening families, and concept mapping is a method of evaluation that will respect the nature of the Caf process.

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47 CHAPTER 3 METHODS Purpose The purpose of this study is to evaluate the beneficial outcomes of participating in Community Cafs. The goal is to gain a better understanding of the benefits Cafs provide to families as well as offer preliminary evidence for the success of Cafs as a new approach to strengthening families. Design Community Cafs use a dialogical approach to gaining wisdom, building Prevention Fund, 2008). They creates an envi ronment that is conducive to open and honest communication between parents. Therefore, a method of evaluation that does not interfere with the conversational nature of Cafs is most appropriate. Concept mapping is an integrated approach used in planning an d evaluation that allows participants to have a voice throughout the entire process of evaluation (Kane &Trochim, 2007). This mixed methods approach provides the opportunity for participants to share their thinking and is grounded in multivariate statistic al techniques, including cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling (Trochim, 1989a). This method of evaluation is well suited to provide valuable information on Community Cafs. In order to complete this evaluation of Community Cafs, a cross sectional research design was used. Cross sectional designs are used often to compare or determine the relationship between two or more cases with regard to different variables (Bryman, 2004; de Vaus, 2001). In this study, the design allowed me to determine the re lationship between the concepts generated by participants. One of the essential goals

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48 was to determine the relationship between the concepts and how they form into conceptual groups (or clusters). As Bryman (2004) emphasized, cross sectional research desig ns are generally used to determine the correlations between variables. In this case correlations were analyzed between concepts and groups of concepts. Along with the ability to conduct correlations and comparisons, standard cross sectional designs do not contain a time element (Bryman, 2004; de Vaus, 2001). Data is generally collected at one point in time and is often quantifiable (Bryman, 2004). Although data collection through concept mapping occurs in three steps, the data analyzed from the last two st eps is collected at a single point in time. Sample United Way Worldwide introduced Strengthening Families to six pilot sites nationally. This project sought to embed the Protective Factors into the work of local United Ways. Community Cafs have been integ rated along with Strengthening Prevention Funds has been instrumental in the expansion of Community Cafs nationally, and through the implementation of United Way Streng thening Families, United Way Worldwide has joined this initiative as well. The United Way Strengthening Families sites that participated in the evaluation of Community Cafs are the United Way of Greater High Point, United Way of Anchorage, and the United Ways of Washington state association. The Juneau Family Health and Birth Center (Juneau, AK) has also been hosting Cafs and participated in the evaluation. The theoretical population of interest in this study is parents and those that work with parents i n some capacity. The population for this study consists of Caf hosts, parents, service providers, and leadership team members. Caf hosts are parent

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49 leaders that help organize and lead Community Cafs, whereas leadership teams typically consist of members coordinating c ontact, and often a parent host 2 The sample frame consists of all the units from which the sample may be selected (Bryman, 2004; Bernard, 2000). The sampling frame that was used to con struct the sample for this study consists of all participants who have participated in or experienced Community Caf(s) in some capacity at some point in time. Based on formation gathered from each of the participating sites in this study, the majority o f the sites have a predominantly female population, with the exception of the Father Caf in Juneau, AK. Several of the sites also reported having a high Spanish speaking population for which all of the materials were translated. The project leaders and Ca f hosts served as the liaisons in order to obtain an adequate sample and conduct this evaluation. Demographics There were several complications that had to be dealt with throughout the data collection process. Due to the nature of this evaluation, the re search team was unable to complete the process of collecting data on our own. Evaluators from the United Way Strengthening Families project were trained on how to complete the data collection steps. Overall, sixty six people participated in the brainstormi ng, with thirty seven completing sorts, fifty five completing importance ratings, and forty seven completing achievement ratings. As a result of complications with data collection, twenty four ratings did not include attached demographic forms. There were also thirty one ratings 2 (R. Higa, person communication, Dec. 18, 2009)

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50 that could not be used due to incompletion or lack of variability in responses (i.e. rated all statements as 5). Of those that were removed, there are eight importance ratings with demographics, four achievement ratings with demogra phics, and three of both ratings with demographics. There are also seven importance ratings without demographics and nine of both ratings without demographics. The following demographic information was collected from the sixty six participants who compl eted this evaluation. Table 3 1. Demographic frequency t able Variable Value Frequency Percentage Gender Female Male 35 6 53.0 9.1 Race/Ethnicity African American Asian Did Not Respond Hispanic or Latino Multi racial Native American or Alaskan Native Other White (Non Hispanic/European American) 4 5 1 9 3 1 1 13 6.1 7.6 1.5 13.6 4.5 1.5 1.5 19.7 Education 4 year college degree (Bachelors) 9th to 12th grade (no diploma) Elementary or junior high school High school diploma/GED Masters degree No formal education Some college (no degree) Technical or Associates degree 11 4 1 3 6 1 2 5 16.7 6.1 1.5 4.5 9.1 1.5 3.0 7.6 Role in Caf Community Caf Host Parent/Individual Social Service Provider State wide or national Community Caf leadership team 10 14 2 10 15.2 21.2 3.0 15.2

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51 Table 3 1. Continued Variable Value Frequency Percentage Marital Status Divorced Married Partnered Separated Single 4 19 6 2 5 6.1 28.8 9.1 3.0 7.6 Language English Other Spanish 29 1 9 43.9 1.5 13.6 City Anchorage High Point Juneau Olympia Rochester San Antonio San Diego Seattle White Center 5 6 5 9 4 1 1 5 1 7.6 9.1 7.6 13.6 6.1 1.5 1.5 7.6 1.5 State Alaska California North Caro lina Texas Washington 10 1 6 1 44 15.2 1.5 9.1 1.5 66.7 Table 3 2. Mean d emographics Variable Valid Number Number Missing Mean Standard Deviation Age 36 30 40.44 11.828 Number of children 35 31 2.14 1.396 Number of Cafs attended 37 29 6.00 4.967 Overall perceived benefit of Cafs 37 29 4.68 .530 Method This cross sectional design utilizes a mixed methods approach. Concept mapping allows for both qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis. Quantitative methods

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52 produce measurable, quantifiable results through data analysis, whereas qualitative methods focus more on the words of the participants (Bryman, 2004). Concept mapping uses a combination of these methods to produce a visual representation of the ree steps of concept mapping allow the participants to share their point of view and guide the process of data collection. The qualitative process of brainstorming is the first step, at which time participants generate the concepts used throughout the rest of the process. The sorting and rating portions allow for quantitative analyses to be conducted. Although, the sorting provides quantitative data it holds a qualitative element in that participants sorted the concepts based on how they felt they should be grouped and then named each set of concepts. This allowed me use of mixed methods enhances this study and provides a good fit for the evaluation of Community Cafs. P rocedure Concept mapping is a well established method of data collection that allows participants to have a significant say throughout the process (Galvin,1989; Kane &Trochim, 2007; Michalski& Cousins, 2000). The three data collection steps of concept mapp ing brainstorming, sorting, and rating allow the participants to express themselves in the evaluation. Several steps were completed prior to data collection, including identifying the sample and preparing materials. The primary contacts and other on si te Caf leadership served as the facilitators throughout the data collection process. In order to identify the sample, leadership from various locations were contacted. There were five local United Ways and one United Way State Association participating

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53 i n the United Way Strengthening Families Pilot; four of these sites have been hosting Community Cafs over the last year or two. One other national location was contacted to determine their interest in participating in the evaluation. Evaluators at each of the four sites were contacted with information regarding concept mapping and the evaluation of Community Cafs. The initial contact was via email with a basic explanation of the proposed evaluation method, including attachments of concept mapping materials After this initial communication, a conference call was set up with all of the evaluators and the research team. This conference call served to fully orient the sites to concept mapping and answer any questions they had about the process. A detailed expl anation of the three concept mapping data collection steps was given, along with how this process fit well with Community Cafs. Following the explanation the research team answered any questions the evaluators had. After the completion of the brainstormin g step, the site evaluators were trained and completed the sorting and ratings themselves at a United Way Strengthening Families meeting in Seattle, Washington. This provided them with an opportunity to experience the process and clarify any uncertainties. Each of the evaluators worked with the local Caf leadership in their area to determine how they would facilitate each of the three steps brainstorming, sorting, and rating. The sites each reported how they planned on hosting each of the sessions necessa ry for the concept mapping process. Flyers were handed out to parents and posted in visible locations to invite people to come participate in this project. The evaluation was presented as an opportunity to provide feedback on what they have learned and wha t they think are the benefits of Cafs. The volunteers were

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54 compensated with a small stipend for participating in the study and dedicating their time to helping the researchers. Brainstorming The first step in collecting data was brainstorming, which gene rated the concepts used in the rest of the study. Each site hosted brainstorming sessions with the volunteer participants based on the given focus statement developed by the researchers. Brainstorm sessions were conducted in both English and Spanish. The f ocus statement that it . participants brainstormed statements and ideas. Brainstorming could be don e individually or in a group. General brainstorming rules were followed throughout this openly suggest concepts that they believe are benefits. The goal of the brainstorm was to develop a broad list of the benefits of Cafs. After each site completed their brainstorming session, they sent a copy of the generated list of concepts and the part researchers via mail, fax, or email. The informed consent forms were filed in a locked sessions were compiled into one comp rehensive list. All Spanish brainstorms were translated to English. This list of over 600 statements was then organized and reduced to eighty three statements in preparation for th e sorting and rating steps ( Appendix A). A multistep procedure was used to i dentify the core concepts. First, the concepts were organized and key words were identified (Kane &Trochim, 2007). Any duplicate

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55 statements were removed, along with confusing statements, while double barreled and complex statements were separated into simp ler statements. Statements that were not specific benefits of Cafs were also removed (i.e., statements about the set up of the room or the cost of Cafs). The list was further reduced by removing concepts that were very similar and refining statements so they could be more easily understood. The research team (e.g., myself and the principal investigators on the research project) completed this process of analyzing the list of concepts through individual and group review. This list was reduced to a list of eighty three concepts to be used in the sorting and rating steps. Each statement was assigned a number and placed on a card. The statements were placed in the same number order on each of the rating questionnaires. The number corresponding to each statemen t was used to keep a record of the statements throughout the sorting, rating and data analysis. Sorting In order to complete the second and third steps of concept mapping, the facilitator at each site planned another session for which parents, service pro viders, and parent hosts completed the card sorts and ratings. Facilitators contacted participants who completed the brainstorming to once again participate in the next step. Phone calls were the primary means through which participants were invited to par ticipate again. The participants attended the sessions and completed the card sorts based on the guidelines presented by the facilitators. The participants were instructed to sort the cards by similarity as they saw fit. Participants were not to put all of the cards into one pile or each card into its own individual pile. Finally, it was recommended that the cards be sorted into at least five groups. Upon completing their sort, each participant recorded the results of their individual card sort. On a separa te form, participants recorded the

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56 number of each statement in each of the sorted groups. They completed this process for each pile of sorted concepts and then named each group with a word or phrase that they felt best described the statements in that pile There was no right or wrong way to sort or identify a group of statements; this process was up to the discretion of the participant. Rating The final step in the concept mapping data collection was the rating process. Facilitators asked participants who completed the brainstorming and sorting steps to also complete the rating step as well. To obtain additional ratings, facilitators contacted others involved in Community Cafs to see if they would participate in the rating process to increase numbers. Th ose who completed both the sorting and ratings did so at one session, whereas others, who completed only the ratings, did so in additional sessions. Participants were asked to complete two rating forms. Each form was created using the eighty three statemen ts from the brainstorming process. The first form addressed how important the participant thought each concept was compared to the rest. They rated how important it was that each statement occurred as a benefit of Community Cafs on a scale from one to fiv e, one being unimportant and five being very important ( Appendix A). The second rating form addressed how much each statement was achieved through Community Cafs ( Appendix A). Participants once again rated the statements on a scale from one to five, one b eing not at all achieved to five very much achieved. Each participant was asked to complete both rating forms as the final step in the concept mapping data collection process.

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57 Data analysis The Concept Mapping Software was used to complete the data analy sis process. The first step in analysis is the creation of a similarity matrix, which is constructed based on the results of the card sorts. According to Kane and Trochim (2007), the results of the sorts are used to create a similarity matrix that shows ho w often participants paired sort and then the results are summed across all participants to create the complete similarity matrix (Kane &Trochim, 2007). This matrix shows the patterns and similarities in how participants sorted the statements. The similarity matrix is then be used to conduct the next analysis of multidimensional scaling. Multidimensional scaling uses the similarity matrix to plot points representi ng the st atements on a map ( Figure 4 1, p. 62 ) (Kane &Trochim, 2007). Multidimensional scaling is a validated statistical technique used to determine the similarity and relationship between points (Dumont, 1989). A two dimensional scale is used for concept mapping and typically assigns each statement and Trochim (2007), multidimensional scaling uses the similarity matrix and, l table data are as fairly represented by points with the corresponding assigned number used for identification. The stress level is a standard diagnostic measure that is used as an indicator of stress level represents how well the map represents the input data (Kane &Trochim, 2007). Generally, the higher the stress level the great the map and the input data (Kane &Trochim, 2007). Kane and Trochim (2007) report

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58 ess levels range between the transferring of the data from the multidimensional similarity matrix to a two dimensional place on a map (Kane &Trochim, 2007). The str ess level is used to determine if the map is a good fit for the data, in a sense this is a measure of reliability (Kane &Trochim, 2007). The next step is hierarchical cluster analysis, which utilizes the point map from the multidimensional scaling to clus ter the data. Hierarchical cluster analysis groups the concepts into clusters based on their location on the point map (Kane &Trochim, 2007). The hierarchical method begins with each concept in its own cluster and begins to group them based on the closenes s of concepts on the map. In other words, concepts that are close to one another on the point map will be clustered together while points farther apart will not. (Kane &Trochim, 2007). As with other hierarchical clustering techniques, the number of cluste rs selected as the best fit for the data is determined based on the context and the judgment of the researchers analyzing the data (Kane &Trochim, 2007). According to Kane and Trochim (2007), clusters will vary based on statistical software and the judgmen t of the analysts. Therefore, it is important to recognize that the point map remains the same, and the clusters are just a means of interpretation of the analysis (Kane &Trochim, 2007). After determining and assigning the final number of clusters, each of the clusters is labeled based on the statements

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59 statements may be useful in determining labels, but ultimately this is based on the lusters (Kane &Trochim, 2007). The software provides several visual representations of the data. Point rating maps plot the average rating from all participants for a given statement, while cluster ra ting maps ( Figure 4 3, p. 67 and Figure 4 4, p. 71 ) rep cluster rating maps are similar in what they portray on their respective maps. Another visual representation provided by th e software is a pattern match ( Figure 4 5, p. 75 ), which uses the data from multiple cluster rating maps in order to compare the differences between ratings or between various groups of participants (Kane &Trochim, 2007). Pattern matches are a good visual representation o f the data that provide further information about the data collected. Another representation of the individual statements is a bivariate graph separated by quadrants; each statement is plotted on the graph based on the average rating of importance and achi evement of statement ( Figure 4 6, p. 76 ). The upper right quadrant represents the statements that are rated above average on both variables (Kane &Trochim, 2007). Overall, the analysis of the concepts brainstormed, sorted, and rated provided a feasible ev aluation of the benefits of Community Cafs. The analyses present both visual and statistical representations of the data, which are useful in interpretation. The concept mapping method of evaluation on a whole is a sound approach that will help to provide a better understanding of Community Cafs. Cafs have not been evaluated and this is a useful first step. Not only do these results provide insight into Cafs at present, but they can also be used to lead and guide evaluations in the future.

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60 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Data collection and analysis was guided by the five research questions. Each will be addressed in order as they reflect the sequential steps of the Concept Mapping process. Research Q uestion 1 Research Q uestion 1 of Community Cafs was addressed through the first Concept Mapping step: brainstorming. The sixty six participants that completed the brainstorming identified over 600 benefits of Community Cafs. Examples of some of the conc noted previously, this list of statements was then whittled down to eighty three statements ( Appendix A). Research Q uestion 2 Research Q uestion 2 was addressed through analysis of the sort data. Each participant sorted the final 83 concepts into groupings based on similarity. Once entered into the Concept Mapping Software, a similarity matrix is computed leading to a multidimensional scaling analysis. The sort data is used to create a group similarity matrix, which records how often each statemen t is sorted together. Multidimensional scaling then uses this similarity matrix to iteratively place the points on a map as accurately as possible, with each statement represented by its corresponding number (Kane &Trochim, 2007). Each additional iteration adjusts the points to minimize the stress and spatial differences in

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61 the representation of the matrix (Shepard, 1979). The stress level represents the goodness of fit of the map, the lower the stress level the better the fit of the map. Through meta analy tic analyses Kane and Trochim (2007) report that most concept stress level, after ten iterations of 0.32 69 ( Figure 4 1) is an appropriate fit for this model, given the va riability of the sort data. Although the stress level is an acceptable fit, it is somewhat high. Figure 4 1. Point m ap The Concept Systems Software then used the point map to conduct hierarchical cluster analysis to establish the number of clusters. Agglomerative hierarchical cluster analysis begins with each statement in its own cluster and merges clusters until all are in one cluster (Kane &Trochim, 2007). It was determined that a nine cluster solution

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62 was the best fit. The research team began by lo oking at a seven cluster solution. This solution showed the statements in larger clusters with very broad themes throughout. We determined that seven clusters was too broad and examined an eight, nine, and ten cluster solution. The ten cluster solution sep arated several statements from a larger group due to their distance from the others, but they were consistent with the theme of the larger cluster. After reviewing the various solutions, the nine cluster solution seemed to be the most appropriate model. Th e eight cluster solution combined an unfocused cluster with a more focused cluster. Based on this broadening of a well defined cluster, it was determined that the nine cluster solution was the most appropriate representation. Figure 4 2. Cluster map with p oints Parenting and Leadership Sense of community and voice Social Strengths and Connections Community needs and resources Culture and Traditions Personal Expression Personal Discovery Miscellaneous Foster respect and equality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83

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63 Table 4 1. Nine cluster sort s olution Cluster Name Statement Numbers Description Parenting and leadership 1, 2, 5, 12, 15, 26, 37,38, 44, 69, 79 Focuses on improving parenting and developing parents as leaders Sense of community and voice 25, 34, 54, 60, 65, 70, 73, 77, 80, 81, 83 Centers around building community, partnerships, and Social strengths and connections 3, 7, 10, 13, 14, 22, 43, 51 Focuses on how Cafs help create positive social connections Community needs and resources 9, 21, 27, 35, 39, 42, 47, 50, 57, 72, 74, Concentrates on raising awareness of community needs, resources, and strengths Culture and traditions 16, 18, 20, 23, 24, 30, 4 5, 55, 62, 82 Centers on appreciating and connecting participants with different cultures and traditions Personal expression 4, 8, 11, 17, 28, 29, 32, 41, 49, 52, 58, 61, 67, 76 Focuses on the environment Community Cafs create to foster personal expres sion, open communication, listening, and support Personal discovery 6, 19, 40, 56, 59, 63, 66, 68 Centers around the personal and emotional benefits of Cafs that contribute to growth and healthy relationships Foster respect and equality 31, 46, 64, 71, 75, 78 Speaks to the atmosphere of respect, equality, trust, and acceptance Cafs promote Miscellaneous 33, 36, 48, 53 Contains statements on meaningful conversation and others on finding solutions for problems The nine cluster solutio n is presented in Figure 4 2. Each cluster was labeled based on the most common theme found among the given statements. Table 4 1

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64 presents the cluster names, descriptions and statements found in that cluster. Due to cluster, it will not be reported in the analyses and discussion that follow. Research Q uestion 3 Once the number of clusters is identified, the clusters can then be compared to one another based on an analysis of the ratings. Data from the ratings is used to address R esea rch Questions 3, 4, and 5. For Research Q uestion 3, to participants that these perceived the ratings of importance were analyzed in several different ways. Table 4 2 presents the descriptive analyses of the ratings of importance, including the mean, standard deviation, minimum, and maximum for each cluster. The clusters are ordered from highest t o lowest mean score. In addition, Figure 4 3 provides a visual representation of the average ratings of importance. This presents the nine clusters in layered form based on the average level of ratings; the more layers shown the higher the average rating o f importance, and vice versa. Overall, the statements and clusters all had relatively high average ratings and were all regarded as important to some extent. Through the cluster rating map it can be seen that commun ity needs and and the benefit clusters with the highest averages, with deviation of 0.06, with

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65 statements ranging from 4.13 to 4.32. This shows the consistency of the ratings of the statements in this cluster. Table 4 2. Cluster statistics for ratings of i mportance Cluster Name Number of Statements Average Rating Standard De viation Minimum Rating Maximum Rating Foster respect and equality 6 4.22 0.06 4.13 4.32 Sense of community and voice 11 4.22 0.28 3.47 4.53 Parenting and Leadership 11 4.18 0.19 3.85 4.51 Personal expression 14 4.14 0.23 3.65 4.49 Social Strengths and Connections 8 4.08 0.34 3.31 4.43 Culture and traditions 10 4.07 0.22 3.67 4.36 Personal discovery 8 4.00 0.20 3.78 4.33 Community needs and resources 11 3.98 0.23 3.74 4.45 Next, each cluster was evaluated based on average responses to each concept in dis standard deviation of 0.28. This higher standard deviation shows the variability of th e

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66 the median cluster, had the largest standard deviation at 0.34 and the statement with the lowest mean rating overall and contained the statement with the second highest mean rating overall at 4.51 (statement 5). Overall, s tatem had the two highest ratings of importance; although they are in different clusters, they are both specifically related to pa rent engagement. Figure 4 3. Cluster rating map of i mportance Parenting and leadership (4.18) Sense of community and voice (4.22) Culture and traditions (4.07) Personal expression (4.14) Personal discovery (4.00) Miscellaneous (3.98) Foster respect and equality (4.22 ) Social Strengths and Connections (4.08) Community needs and resources (3.98)

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67 Table 4 3. Statements with highest ratings of i mportance Statement Number Cluster Rating Statement 83 Sense of Community and Voice 4.53 Helps parents understand they are not alone 5 Parenting and Leadership 4.51 Promotes parent engagement and involvement 29 Personal Expression 4.49 Helps decrease isolation 77 Sense of Community and Voice 4.45 Builds a sense of community 35 Community Needs and Resources 4.45 Focuses on deficits 69 Parenting and Leadership 4.44 Builds confidence and hope that parents are capable of making it better for their children 10 Social Strengths and Connections 4.43 Creates positive social networks for parents and caregivers ommunity needs and resources the lowest average rating, yet only 4 of 11 statements with ratings over 4.00, two of which were 4.05 and 4.00. The more highly rated clusters had similar themes whereas the lower rated clusters did not. The highest ratings focused around sense of community, parent involvement, and res pect and equality, which more directly benefit parents. Whereas, the lower rated clusters included broader concepts around community needs and resources, solving problems, and conversation. Participants rated the statements based on what they felt was most important, which can benefit Caf leaders in the future.

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68 Table 4 4. Statements with lowest ratings of i mportance Statement Number Cluster Rating Statement 43 Social Strengths and Connections 3.31 Connects parents to local government leaders 60 Sense of Community and Voice 3.47 Gives parents a nice distraction outside of the house 48 Miscellaneous 3.48 Teaches people to replace bad habits with good ones 52 Personal Expression 3.65 Helps people develop and discover inner self 18 Culture and Traditions 3.67 Gives hope to our future generations 82 Culture and Traditions 3.69 Creates new traditions 57 Community Needs and Resources 3.74 Encourages more organizations to adopt the protective factor framework Research Q uestion 4 The ratings of achievement answer Research Q uestion 4 p erceived Although the average ratings of achievement were slightly lower than importance, most showed they are still being achieved. The a nalyses of the achievement rating data for the nine clusters are reported in same manner as the importance ratings. The average rating of all the statements in each cluster, the standard deviation of the ratings, the minimum and maximum rating of statement s in the cluster, and the number of statements in each cluster for both the importance ratings and the achievement ratings are reported in Table 4 5. Based on the average rating of the clusters the cluster rating map portrays each cluster in a number of l ayers, with fewer layers representing a lower average rating. The

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69 cluster rating map of achievement ratings is presented in Figure 4 4. In looking at the lowest standard devia tion of 0.20, which shows that the statements in this cluster were were the next two highest rated clusters with mean cluster ratings of 4.13 and 4.12. The lowest ratings w ster ratings of 3.83 and 3.84. Table 4 5. Clust er statistics for ratings of a chievement Cluster Number Number of Statements Average Rating Standard Deviation Minimum R ating Maximum Rating Foster respect and equality 6 4.17 0.20 3.87 4.49 Personal expression 14 4.13 0.34 3.51 4.55 Sense of community and voice 11 4.12 0.28 3.52 4.47 Parenting and leadership 11 4.01 0.20 3.75 4.36 Personal discovery 8 3.98 0.31 3.47 4.57 Culture and traditions 10 3.95 0.37 3.38 4.61 Commu nity needs and resources 11 3.84 0.26 3.39 4.34 Social strengths and connections 8 3.83 0.44 2.81 4.38

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70 Figure 4 4. Cluster rating map of a chievement stand ard deviation 0.44. There is a broad range of mean ratings for the statements in leaders rated cluster with a 3.95 average, yet it contains the statement with the highest ratin g of Parenting and leadership (4.01) Sense of community and voice (4.12) Social Strengths and Connections (3.83) Community needs and resources (3.84) Culture and traditions (3.95 Personal expression (4.13) Personal discovery (3.98) Miscellaneous (4.01) Foster respect and equality (4.17)

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71 (statement 62). Table 4 6. Statements with highest r atings of a chievement Statement Number Cluster Rating Statement 62 Culture and Traditions 4.61 Allows people to share their personal experiences, history, and culture 56 Personal Discovery 4.57 Gives people the opportunity to express themselves 61 Personal Expression 4.55 Encourages people to exchange ideas interact with 36 Miscellaneous 4.55 Encourages different points of view in conversation 67 Personal Expression 4.53 Provides a supportive and a safe environment for conversation 8 Personal Expression 4.51 Allows people to be listened to by others 75 Foster Respect and Equality 4.49 equally There is more variability in the ratings of achievement with five of the nine clusters containing ranges over 1.00, two with 0.95, and the lowest two with 0.62. Some of the h ighest rated statements located in various clusters all share a similar theme of allowing op e most important to the participants were also the most highly achieved. These ratings

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72 show what the participants felt was most achieved through their experience in Cafs, which can guide lead ers in planning for the future. Table 4 7. Statements with lowes t ratings of a chievement Statement Number Cluster Rating Statement 43 Social Strengths and Connections 2.81 Connects parents to local government leaders 48 Miscellaneous 3.24 Teaches people to replace bad habits with good ones 82 Culture and Traditions 3.38 Creates new traditions 57 Community Needs and Resources 3.39 Encourages more organizations to adopt the protective factor framework 59 Personal Discovery 3.47 Provides hope to the hopeless 18 Culture and Traditions 3.58 Gives hope to our future generations 52 Personal Expression 3.51 Helps people develop and discover inner self Research Q uestion 5 Other visual representations of the ratings of importance and achievement are presented through the pattern match (clusters) and bivariate graph (statements), which address the fifth Research Q uestion. The pattern match shows the correlation between the importance ratings and the achievement ratings (Figure 4 5). It is a simple visual that helps display the comparison between the cluster ratings of importance and achievement. The data presented in the pattern match shows the clusters of benefits participants felt were most important in relation to which clusters of b enefits they felt they experienced most through Cafs.

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73 Overall, the average ratings of achievement were lower than the ratings of importance. Despite the difference in mean ratings, the comparison between importance and achievement has a correlation coef ficient of 0.69, which is relatively the lowest rated statement in both importa nce and achievement, while the highest rated statements were similar in allowing parents to share and connect with others. In looking at the comparisons through the pattern match, it is clear the top four clusters of both achievement and importance are the the highest rated cluster in both importance (4.22) and achievement (4.17). The other in importance (4.14) and second in achievement (4.13). These top clusters all focus on how Cafs contribute to parenting, social connections, and personal expression. The other four clusters have interesting relatio nships. importance (4.08) and the lowest achieved (3.83), while nd six th in achievement (3.95), nth in importance (4.00) and fifth in achievement

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74 ommunity needs a (3.98) and the second lowest achievement rating (3.84). The pattern match displays the comparison of the mean importance and achievement cluster ratings. Figure 4 5. Pattern match comparison of impo rtance and achievement r atings The bivariate graph shows the average rating of each individual statement on a four quadrant graph. The points are plotted using the average importance rating (x axis) and the average achievement rating (y axis). Statements f ound in the lower left quadrant rate below the average level of importance and achievement, while statements in the upper right rate above average on both importance and achievement. The upper left holds statements above average in achievement but below av erage in importance, and the lower right shows statements below average in achievement and above average in importance (Figure 4 6). The mean achievement rating is 4.01 and the mean

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75 importance rating is 4.10, and these are used to define the quadrants. The bivariate graph shows the general positive, linear slope of the average ratings of the statements, and has an r correlation coefficient of 0.78. This shows that there is a high correlation between the ratings of the statements. Figure 4 6. Bivariate gr aph of average importance and achievement ratings of each s tatement The largest portion of the statements are located in the upper right quadrant, meaning they are above the average in both achievement and importance. Benefits upper part of the upper right quadrant, which shows that these are the most highly important and achieved statements. These benefit s all relate to personal expression and support, two areas that were found to be very important and achieved throughout

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76 the results. The highest rated statements were consistent with the highest rated g situations to collaborate with There is a significant number of statements that are below average on both measures, although many are very close to the average on both. Several statements such as, above average in achievement. The above average importance statements are all relatively close to the average achievement, whereas th ere is more distance between the above average achievement and below average importance statements. Although there are several statements low on both measures, the majority of statements were moderately important and achieved. The statements in the upper r ight quadrant are the

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77 most highly achieved and most important benefits as identified by the participants. Based on the mean ratings of individual and clusters of statements, participants identified the social community, personal expression, and supportive environment to be very important and highly achieved benefits through their ex periences in Community Cafs.

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78 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The purpose of this study was to evaluate Community Cafs and identify what participants believe are benefi ts of Cafs. This evaluation was conducted through the lens of family stress theory and the CSSP Strengthening Families Protective Factor framework. The method of Concept Mapping provided a feasible approach to evaluation that meshed well with the conversa tional nature of Community Cafs. Through the steps of Concept Mapping, participants identified benefits of Cafs, organized them in groups, and rated them based on importance and achievement. The process of Concept Mapping addressed the five research ques tions participants identified as many benefits of Cafs as possible in brainstorming sessi ons. Over 600 benefits were generated in the brainstorming process. These ranged from the practicality of Cafs to how they bring people together and build community. This list was then refined and reduced to 83 statements to be used in the sorting and rat ing steps. card sorts by sorting the concepts into groups based on similarity ( Table 4 1, p. 64 and Figure 4 2, p. 63 ). The data from the sorts was analyzed through the use of multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis. A similarity matrix was created from the sort data and each point was plotted on a map through multidimension al scaling. Nine clusters of statements were identified. The statements in

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79 each cluster generally center around a given theme, consistent with the protective factors and Caf principles. Several of the clusters related to the protective factors focused on parenting and leadership, social connections, building community, and identifying community needs and resources. The cluster themes related to the Caf environment focused on personal expression, culture and traditions, fostering respect and equality, and personal growth. Questions 3, 4, and 5 were addressed through the completion of the ratings of importance and ratings of achievement. The data showed that the highest ratings had consistent themes and therefore are the primary focus in the discussion. Thr ough the ratings of importance Q addressed ( Table 4 2, p. 66 and Figure 4 3, p. 67 er respect and similar in that the themes centered on how the Caf environment allo ws for community, conversation, expression, and openness. Community Cafs are founded upon dialogical principles and using conversation to bring about change; participants identified statements and clusters related to these principles as the most important was answered through the ratings of achievement participants completed ( Table 4 5, p. 70 and Figure 4 4, p. 71 equal

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80 conversation among participants to develop protective factors, parenting skills, and leadershi p. The achievement ratings show that participants felt that Cafs promote expression, parenting, community, and leadership as they are designed to do. ments were also used to answer Q uestion 5, Visual results to this question c an be seen in Figures 4 5 (p. 75) and 4 6 (p. 76 ). The pattern match shows the comparison of the cluster ratings of importance and achievement. This comparison h ad a high correlation of .69. The top four clusters were bivariate graph plots the indivi dual statements on a four quadrant graph based on the ratings of importance and ratings of achievement. The correlation for the comparison of individual statement ratings of importance and achievement was .78, which is high. The consistency and high correl ation between the importance and achievement ratings of both the clusters and statements demonstrates how Caf participants are experiencing what is important to them. The themes are also consistent with the Caf guiding principles and protective factors. Cafs are designed to create a hospitable environment that appreciates conversation and encourages the development of collective wisdom (National Alliance building co mmunity, expression, and the protective factors. Although the benefits found in this study are related to Caf principles and protective factors, the statements were

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81 identified solely by the participants. These benefits are not based on theory, but rather on the perceptions and experiences of those participating in Community Cafs. Association with Protective Factors Upon further examination, many of the clusters that emerged from the analysis can be linked to the five CSSP Protective Factors: social conne ctions, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need, social and emotional competence of children, and parental resilience (Table 2 1, p. 25). Based on the statements within a given cluster themes were identified. The la nguage of the statements and themes of the clusters were in many cases similar to the protective factors Through evaluative judgment it was determined that s everal of the clusters focused on areas that related to strengthening families and increasing protective factors. I n fact several of these themes were consistent with specific CSSP protective factors, demonstrating the effectiveness of the Community Caf approach i n addressing these factors ( Table 5 1). All cluster and statements means reported in the tables are mean ratings of achievement. Table 5 1. Clusters associated with protective f actors Clusters by Rating of Achievement Associated Protective Factor Statement Examples Foster respect and equality (4.17) Personal Expression (4.13) Parental Resilience Sense of Community and Voice (4.12) Social Connections concerned with the well being of

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82 Table 5 1. Continued Clusters by Rating of Achievement Associated Protective Factor Statement Examples Parenting and Leadership (4.01) Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development Social and Emotional Competence of Children to collaborate with parents who have ar e capable of making it better for their Personal Discovery (3.98) Parental Resilience Culture and Traditions (3.95) Community Needs and Resources (3.84) Concrete Support in Times of Need resources when needing to deal with a accountability for providing what community Social strengths and connections (3.83) Social Connections The results showed that one of the most common themes found among the building comm unity and strengthening social connections. Research shows that social connections are very important for parents and caregivers (Horton, 2003). Social connections can help moderate the negative effects of economic, neighborhood, and

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83 parenting stress (Barn ett, 2008; Kotchik et al., 2005; White et al., 2009). Participants, in ement 83) as benefits of Cafs; these concepts were both rated as highly important and highly achieved. Social support can come from family, friends, or neighbors. According to the participants, Community Cafs help connect participants to build these rela 3.83. This may be due to the fact that statements within this cluster that focus on areas other than jus whole though, the b enefits that specifically related to social connections, such as (4.38), are rated highly in achievement and importance suggesting that Cafs emphasize and promote the pr otective factor of social connections. Another cluster associated with the protective factor of knowledge of parenting and parenting can be a great benefit for parents. Parents may not always understand why their child is behaving a certain way and can become frustrated, when the child is actually behaving in an age appropriate way (Horton, 2003). Participants found that the benefits associated with Parenting and Leadersh ip are highly important (average 4.18) and achieved (average 4.01). Some statements specifically relate to the protective

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84 other statements indirectly related to how parents could improve their parenting through collaborating with others dom and insight from other parents who have experienced similar situations. Cafs allow parents to connect with other dge of parenting and child development is important to participants, as well as highly achieved. The third protective factor of concrete support in times of need can also help buffer the effects of stress. Research shows that economic stress and lack of r esources can be a source of negative stress on families (McLoyd, 1990; White et al., 2009). Concrete support can help families meet critical needs (Horton, 2003). In this study, one cluster ommunity needs and important and achieved, but not as highly as the statements about the previous resources to be benefits of Cafs. Interestingly, this cluster was rated as one of the lowest in importance and achievement. This low mean rating may be due to a lack of discussion in the Caf about how to connect with specific community resources, rather than a fai lure to discuss

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85 community resources in general. Despite this, participants still found these concepts to be moderately important (average 3.98) and achieved (average 3.84). The fourth protective factor in the CSSP framework focuses on parents fostering the social and emotional competence of children. Statements focus on helping parents provide better situations for their children, which can in turn promote healthy social and emotional competence. Parents and caregivers play a pivotal part in nurturing the d evelopment of these competencies in children (Denham &Weissberg, 2004; Horton, 2003). Many of the statements were related to parenting, and positive parenting behaviors help to foster social and emotional competence (Brooks, 2008). Social and emotional com petence is developed through the modeling and guidance of parents and benefits most closely related to the social and emotional competence of children. This cluster focused on improving parenting and leadership for the benefit of the children. and others concerned with the well participants did not specifically identify this as a benefit, the statements related to this protective factor were highly rated and can contribute to healthy child development. The fina l protective factor in the CSSP Protective Factor framework is parental resilience. Many of the benefits of Cafs contribute to this in some way. Parental resilience is the ability to overcome adversity (McCubbin&McCubbin, 2005). Positive well being, stren gth, flexibility, and the ability to manage crises are all characteristics of resilience (Strengthening Families Illinois, 2007). Two clusters center around parental

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86 state ments found in both of these clusters relate to many of the personal benefits participants experience through Cafs. These clusters consist of statements such as signifying personal well being, expression, and growth in many ways all contribute to parental resilience and positive well being. The community, support, and enco uragement promoted through Community Cafs all can help parents to manage stress, overcome adversity, and become resilient. According to Patterson (2002), if parents can positively manage stressors they are more likely to practice healthy parenting behavio rs. Although resilience is not specifically identified, the statements and clusters that promote resilience are highly rated. Therefore, parental resilience is an essential protective factor promoted through Cafs. Association with Community Caf Core Pri nciples The benefits found in this evaluation not only relate to the protective factors but also to the World Caf Design Principles and Core Principles of Cooperation as described in the Community Caf Orientation Host Guide (National Alliance of Children Through analysis and interpretation of the statements and clusters, similarities with the Caf principles can be seen. It was determined through consideration of individual statements and cluster themes that the results were consistent with the principles in many ways. The language of the specific

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87 statements and cluster themes is, in many ways, aligned with the Caf principles. Based on these similarities it was determined that the clusters and statements are associated with the principles of Cafs. The design principles establish the overall method of Community Cafs, while the core principles and strategies seek to strengthen families, build partnerships, and promote parent leadership in more specific approaches that ca n be adapted to establish meaningful Cafs within local communities (National concepts such as equality in conversation, parent leadership, listening together, and cultiv ating collective wisdom. Many of these strategies and principles are reflected in the benefits identified by participants. Community Cafs were founded upon the six guiding principles of the World Caf model along with the CSSP Protective Factors. These s ix principles all contribute to the implementation of the core principles of Cafs and the development of protective factors (Hurley & Brown, 2009, p. 6). Several of the benefit clusters identified relate to these such as listening to others, exchanging ideas, and the safe environment provided by Cafs. This relates to the design principles of c

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88 also both consist of statements focused on a ppreciating different perspectives and expression. Table 5 2. Cluster associations with core p rinciples of Community Cafs Clusters by Rating of Achievement Associated Core Principles Foster respect and equality (4.17) Honor and respect every contribution to the caf Work with equality, self determination and reciprocity Act like everyone arrives with the best of intentions Strive to make every decision and contribution with compassion Personal Expression (4.13) Maintain safety and kindness in our words and environment Sense of Community and Voice (4.12) Build and share collective wisdom and consensus Parents and communities create the partnerships needed for children to thrive Parenting and Leadership (4.01) Parent Leaders design, host, monitor and evaluate Cafs in partnership with community We are the leaders that will create the positive change we need Personal Discovery (3.98) Culture and Traditions (3.95) Community Needs and Resources (3.84) Social strengths and connections (3.83) Core Principles of Cooperation as cited in the Community Caf Orientation Host Guide These guiding design principles contribute to the implementation of the Core Principles and strategies in Community Cafs. The core principles are promoted through the core strategies of networking leadership, networking partnerships, and strengthening fam

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89 2008). The Core Principles focus a great deal on respect, equality, and appreciating others. They also promote parent leadership and collective community wisdom. These principles guide indi vidual Cafs based on community needs and issues. Several of the clusters identified in this evaluation are similar to and can be related to the Core Principles of Cafs. Many of the benefits reported by participants correspond with these core strategies. Strategies of Community Cafs focus on areas of leadership, partnership and strengthening families. The strategies seek to honor and respect input, equality, develop collective wisdom, focus on strengths, and allow for meaningful conversations. Many of th e clusters are associated with these strategies (see Table 5 3). For example, create new (statement 2), relate to strategies promoting leadership and mentorship through Cafs. All of the clusters, and more specifically many of the statements, convey the core principles and strategies used in the Community Caf approach. Finally, strategies of Community Cafs focus on areas such as honoring and respecting input, equality, develo ping collective wisdom, focus on strengths, and allow for meaningful conversations. Many of the benefits reported by participants correspond learn rather than train or teach and co

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90 language and co create 2008, p. 13 14). There are three clusters respect and equality that all correspond with many of the strategies focused on another, and sharing in conversation. The other clusters relate to strategies such as connecting participants to and more specifically many of the statements, convey the core principles and strategies used in the Community Caf approach. Table 5 3. Clusters a ssociated with C ommunity Caf core s trategies Cluster Leadership Partnership Strengthening Families Foster respect and equality (4.17) Allow for a variety of ways to express voice and thinking Invite verses persuade Arrive curious, suspend judgment Come with a curious and beginners mind for every caf activity Trust the wisdom in the room Personal expression (4.13) than offer solutions Build and share collective wisdom Treat meaningful conversation as a human need Sense of community and voice (4.12) Develop compassionate working relationships

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91 Table 5 3. Continued Cluster Leadership Partnership Strengthening Families Create a continuum of advocacy opportunities Build and share collective wisdom Parenting and leadership (4.01) Design mentorship in caf activities Use local wisdom of parent leaders and neighborhood assets to design the Cafs, the invitation and to implement Personal discovery (3.98) Highlight individual strengths Culture and traditions (3.95) language, build common language and co create new culture Co learn rather than train or teach Give voice to cultural traditions Community needs and resources (3.84) Social strengths and connections (3.83) Create relational value through reciprocity value social capital Every strength and talent can be used to strengthen families See ourselves as part of the system we are trying to change Core Strategies as cited in the Community Caf Orientation Host Guide Funds, 2008, p. 14) The similarities between these principles and the identified clusters show that Cafs are accomplishing many of the goals set forth. Although the benefits identified by

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92 participants are closely related to the principles of Cafs and protective factors, they are not all specifically addressed in this evaluation. There is not strong evidence for the protective factor of social and emotional competence of children being deve loped through Cafs. The benefits more often were related to improving parenting, which relates to the protective factor of knowledge of parenting and child development. Although participants did not specify every principle and protective factor directly, this evaluation still provides evidence for the productivity and benefits being achieved 2008). Limitations There are several limitations that suggest caution in interpret ing the results. Due to the locations of the sites participating, the evaluation team was unable to facilitate the data collection process. Contacts at each site were trained in how to facilitate and collect the data. Many of the site contacts were concern ed with the amount of work being asked of the parents. Therefore, it is unclear how all the processes were framed and explained to the parents and participants completing the study. Another limitation was fatigue in completing the rating questionnaires, wh ich was due to the length. There were 27 importance ratings and 16 achievement ratings that had to be discarded because there was no variation in their responses. For example, on the importance ratings someone marked 5s (very important) for every statement Others began filling out the questionnaire and then switched their responses to all of one number (e.g. all 4s or 5s). These questionnaires were removed as to not skew the data. The third limitation that was faced was the issue of incomplete or separate d data. The rating packets sent to each site included a cover letter, demographic form, rating

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93 of importance, and rating of achievement. Some sites returned just importance ratings, just achievement ratings, or unattached demographic forms. Overall, ther e were 55 importance ratings completed and 47 achievement ratings completed ; t his does not include the 27 importance and 16 achievement ratings that were removed. Of the valid rating surveys used in analyses, 24 did not have demographic sheets attached. Th is limited our ability to complete comparison analyses between groups, such as parents, hosts, service providers, and leadership. A fourth limitation of this study is the overall sample size. In general, the number of participants that completed the ratin gs was relatively low. As previously mentioned, there were 55 importance and 47 achievement ratings completed and used for data analysis. Although for most studies using these methods of data analysis this is a small sample, in terms of concept mapping thi s sample size is appropriate. For example, in members. According to Trochim (1993), the recommended sample size for concept mapping evaluations is approximately fifteen participants. Therefore, the 37 sorts, 55 importance ratings, and 47 achievement ratings completed are a relatively large sample size for this method of evaluation. A fifth limitation related to the sites is that we were unable to control for regional d ifferences, gender, and other demographic variables. These comparisons would have provided further information on how the results varied by region, gender, race/ethnicity, ic forms being unattached to the ratings, these comparisons and variables could not be

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94 accounted for. This inability to control for variables and conduct comparisons contributes to the overall lack of generalizability of this evaluation. Despite these lim itations, this evaluation is a good first step in formal study of Community Cafs. The benefits were identified by participants of Cafs, and were all rated positively in both importance and achievement. The results suggest that despite the ability to eval uate the results by region, there is consistency in the way the participants identified, sorted, and rates the benefits of Cafs. Likewise, the benefits identified were linking to the protective factors and the core principles of Cafs. Implications This evaluation study has several implications for the future. This is the first formal evaluation of Community Cafs to be completed. Cafs have recently expanded across the country, and a formal evaluation was necessary to provide evidence as to whether or n ot Cafs are an effective means to strengthening families. Since Cafs have grown and expanded across the country so quickly in recent years, there has been little done to develop a means to evaluate them. This study can contribute to evaluation in the f uture in several ways. First, the benefits, clusters, and ratings can be used to create another standard form of a measure to evaluate Cafs. For example, a questionnaire could be developed based on the benefits and the clusters identified by participants. The ratings and sorts could also be used to develop interview or focus group questions. Although the regional differences are a limitation of this study, it is also a positive implication for future studies. Researchers should look to consider more parti cipants from various sites in evaluation. One of the main purposes of Cafs is to meet the needs of those participating. Therefore, regional and even site differences should be

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95 expected to some extent, although all still have the same overarching goal of s trengthening families. This evaluation also provides evidence for those in leadership in Community Cafs. The participants identified all of the benefits and had a voice throughout this evaluation. Participants and hosts can work together to determine wha t benefits or outcomes are important to their unique Cafs and work together to achieve their outcomes. Caf leadership can also use this information to understand which benefits participants think are important and which they are actually experiencing. Th is information can help leaders to guide the focus of Cafs and possibly strengthen areas that are very important but not as highly achieved. Since the results were clearly related to the protective factors and the core principles, there is some evidence for the fidelity of the Caf approach being implemented around the country. This is a positive implication for those in leadership to know that Cafs are generally promoting the same principles, each in their own unique way. The benefit clusters related cl osest to parental resilience consistently had the highest mean ratings, while the cluster similar to concrete support in times of need typically had the lowest mean rating. The benefits focused more on personal well being or direct influence to the partici pants in general had the highest mean ratings, whereas the broader or community level benefits often had lower mean ratings. Caf leadership can use this information to focus on areas of weakness, such as community level benefits. This evaluation can help leadership, hosts, and participants better understand what is happening as a result Cafs and discover what is important to the participants.

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96 Overall, this evaluation is a step forward in providing evidence for the benefits participants acknowledge as a r esult of Community Cafs. This study draws attention to what those participating in Cafs find important and what they are actually experiencing. The method of Concept Mapping provided a foundation upon which valid and reliable measures can be developed to conduct further evaluation and gain a greater understanding of Community Cafs.

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97 APPENDIX A RATING PACKET Please check the box or fill in your response for each Gender: Male Female Age: __________ Number of Children: __________ Marital Status: Single Married Partnered Divorced Separated Widowed Highest Level of Education: No formal education Up to 4 th grade 5 th to 8 th grade 9 th to 12 th grade (no diploma) High school diploma/GED Technical or degree Some college (no degree) 4 Advanced or professional degree Race/Ethnicity: (Please choose the ONE that best describes what you consider yourself to be) African American African Nationals/Caribbean Islanders Asian Hispanic or Latino Middle Eastern Native American or Alaskan Native Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders White (Non Hispanic/European American) Multi racial Other Primary Language : English Spanish Other (please identify) __________ Role in Community Cafs: Parent/Individual Community Caf Host Social Service Provider State wide or national Community Caf leadership team What was the city and state where you [first] participated in a Community Caf? _____________________ How many community cafs have you participated in (as a parent or a leader)?_______________________ Ratings of Importance How beneficial was the Community Caf to you? Not at all beneficial Very beneficial Not applicable 1 2 3 4 5 6 United Way Strengthening Families Demographics

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98 All of the following statements were generated as possible benefits of the Community Caf process. In a brainstorming session, people completed the following statement, Please circle a number between 1 and 5 for each statement in terms of how important you think it is that this is a benefit of Community Cafs. Keep in mind, you may feel that all of these statements ar e important. We are asking you to rate each statement based on the level of importance when compared to one another. Use all the values in the rating scale (from 1 to 5) to make distinctions. How important do you think it is that this is a benefit of Community Caf? That it: Not as important Very Important 1. Teaches parents to step out of their comfort zone 1 2 3 4 5 2. Offers an opportunity for parents to become leaders 1 2 3 4 5 3. Encourages families to share their thoughts and ideas about parenting techniques that worked 1 2 3 4 5 4. Builds trust 1 2 3 4 5 5. Promotes parent engagement and involvement 1 2 3 4 5 6. Provides time to rest, laugh, and reflect 1 2 3 4 5 7. Teaches people how to make their families stronger 1 2 3 4 5 8. Allows people to be listened to by others 1 2 3 4 5 9. Teaches participants how to find and use resources when needing to deal with a situation or need 1 2 3 4 5 10. Creates positive social networks for parents and caregivers 1 2 3 4 5 11. Leaves people with a better sense of their unique strength 1 2 3 4 5 12. Allows parents to get to know each other and develop friendships 1 2 3 4 5 13. Builds protective factors for families 1 2 3 4 5 14. Allows a chance to talk to others about the challenges and joys of raising a family 1 2 3 4 5 15. Enhances parenting skills and abilities 1 2 3 4 5 16. Preserves culture and traditions 1 2 3 4 5 17. Provides the opportunity to be heard and validated without being judged 1 2 3 4 5 18. Gives hope to our future generations 1 2 3 4 5

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99 How important do you think it is that this is a benefit of Community Caf? That it: Not as important Very Important 19. Lets people share their hopes, dreams, and goals 1 2 3 4 5 20. Generates collective wisdom 1 2 3 4 5 21. Provides information on how we can better serve communities as leaders 1 2 3 4 5 22. Teaches new ways to cope when raising families 1 2 3 4 5 23. Increases acceptance of cultural differences 1 2 3 4 5 24. Encourages people to feel more relaxed and open with neighbors 1 2 3 4 5 25. Creates the opportunity for parents to have positive conversations 1 2 3 4 5 26. Creates opportunities for parents to access resources and services 1 2 3 4 5 27. Increases understanding about protective factors 1 2 3 4 5 28. Builds and improves self esteem 1 2 3 4 5 29. Helps decrease isolation 1 2 3 4 5 30. Teaches people about cultural understanding and respect 1 2 3 4 5 31. Encourages people to look at the world differently 1 2 3 4 5 32. Provides the time for deep conversations 1 2 3 4 5 33. Increases appreciation for meaningful community conversation 1 2 3 4 5 34. Raises the value of parent voices and wisdom 1 2 3 4 5 35. 1 2 3 4 5 36. Encourages different points of view in conversation 1 2 3 4 5 37. Inspires parents to be better parents and community members 1 2 3 4 5 38. Increases knowledge of parenting 1 2 3 4 5 39. Promotes awareness of community resources 1 2 3 4 5

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100 How important do you think it is that this is a benefit of Community Caf? That it: Not as important Very Important 40. Takes away stress 1 2 3 4 5 41. Teaches people to listen to others 1 2 3 4 5 42. Helps to raise awareness and discussion about the community needs and issues 1 2 3 4 5 43. Connects parents to local government leaders 1 2 3 4 5 44. Allows parents in challenging situations to collaborate with parents who have thrived in similar situations 1 2 3 4 5 45. Builds leadership that carries into new environments 1 2 3 4 5 46. Removes barriers that generally keep people from participating 1 2 3 4 5 47. Creates a higher sense of accountability for providing what children and families need 1 2 3 4 5 48. Teaches people to replace bad habits with good ones 1 2 3 4 5 49. Motivates participants 1 2 3 4 5 50. Creates networks and collaboration within the community 1 2 3 4 5 51. Increases knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of families 1 2 3 4 5 52. Helps people develop discover inner self 1 2 3 4 5 53. Promotes ownership of local problems and solutions 1 2 3 4 5 54. Gives voice to parents and others concerned with the well being of children 1 2 3 4 5 55. Brings together a variety of cultures that may not have connected otherwise 1 2 3 4 5 56. Gives people the opportunity to express themselves 1 2 3 4 5 57. Encourages more organizations to adopt the protective factor framework 1 2 3 4 5 58. Encourages creativity, curiosity, and new ideas 1 2 3 4 5 59. Provides hope to the hopeless 1 2 3 4 5 60. Gives parents a nice distraction outside of the house 1 2 3 4 5

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101 How important do you think it is that this is a benefit of Community Caf? That it: Not as important Very Important 61. Encourages people to exchange ideas with people they with 1 2 3 4 5 62. Allows people to share their personal experiences, history, and culture 1 2 3 4 5 63. Helps people discover their own skills and abilities 1 2 3 4 5 64. Breaks down barriers that separate us 1 2 3 4 5 65. Allows parents to have a voice in conversations about programs and organizations 1 2 3 4 5 66. Allows for personal growth and change 1 2 3 4 5 67. Provides a supportive and safe environment for conversation 1 2 3 4 5 68. Promotes healthier relationships 1 2 3 4 5 69. Builds confidence and hope that parents are capable of making it better for their children 1 2 3 4 5 70. Allows parents to discover their potential and their wisdom 1 2 3 4 5 71. Develops a sense of belonging and acceptance 1 2 3 4 5 72. Builds an army of trainers and speakers on strengthening families through protective factors 1 2 3 4 5 73. Connects parents to schools and teachers 1 2 3 4 5 74. Encourages individual responsibility of personal and family development 1 2 3 4 5 75. 1 2 3 4 5 76. Allows a group of people to brainstorm solutions to problems and advocate for change 1 2 3 4 5 77. Builds a sense of community 1 2 3 4 5 78. Encourages everyone to trust the wisdom in the room 1 2 3 4 5 79. Encourages parents to better understand child development 1 2 3 4 5 80. Brings the community together to focus on common goals to help families and the community 1 2 3 4 5 81. Builds partnerships between parents, businesses and organizations in the community 1 2 3 4 5

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102 How important do you think it is that this is a benefit of Community Caf? That it: Not as important Very Important 82. Creates new traditions 1 2 3 4 5 83. Helps parents understand they are not alone 1 2 3 4 5

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103 Clasificacin de Logros (Rating of Achievement Spanish Version) Los siguientes enunciados fueron desarrollados como beneficios posibles del proceso del Community Para cada frase, por favor, marque con un crculo el nmero de 1 a 5 que mejor corresponda a cunto se logr ese beneficio para usted por haber participado en el Community Caf. Utilice todos los valores de la escala de clasificacin (de 1 a 5) para distinguir el nivel del logro. Cunto cree que cada beneficio se logr con su participacin en el Community C af? El Caf: No se logr en absoluto Se logr totalmente 1. Desafi a los padres a aventurarse fuera de lo que estn acostumbrados 1 2 3 4 5 2. Ofreci a los padres una oportunidad de volverse lderes 1 2 3 4 5 3. Anim a las familias a que compartieran sus ideas y reflexiones acerca de estrategias que hayan funcionado en la crianza de los hijos 1 2 3 4 5 4. Gener confianza 1 2 3 4 5 5. Promovi la participacin y compromiso de los padres 1 2 3 4 5 6. Proporcion tiempo para descansar, rerse y reflexionar 1 2 3 4 5 7. Ense a la gente cmo fortalecer a sus familias 1 2 3 4 5 8. Les permiti a las personas la oportunidad de ser escuchadas por los dems 1 2 3 4 5 9. Ense a los participantes cmo encontrar y utilizar recursos cuando se encuentren en una situacin de necesidad 1 2 3 4 5 10. Cre redes sociales positivas para padres y cuidadores 1 2 3 4 5 11. Volvi a los participantes ms conscientes de sus propias fortalezas 1 2 3 4 5 12. Dej a los padres conocer y desarrollar amistades 1 2 3 4 5 13. Desarroll factores de proteccin para las familias 1 2 3 4 5 14. Di la oportunidad de hablar con otros acerca de los retos y alegras de criar una familia 1 2 3 4 5 15. Aument las destrezas y habilidades de criar a sus hijos 1 2 3 4 5 16. Mantuvo la cultura y tradiciones 1 2 3 4 5 17. Proporcion a cada uno la oportunidad de ser escuchado y sentirse validado sin ser juzgado 1 2 3 4 5

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104 Cunto cree que cada beneficio se logr con su participacin en el Community C af? El Caf: No se logr en absoluto Se logr totalmente 18. Di esperanza a nuestras futuras generaciones 1 2 3 4 5 19. Dej que la gente compartiera sus sueos, esperanzas y metas 1 2 3 4 5 20. Gener sabidura colectiva 1 2 3 4 5 21. Proporcion informacin acerca de cmo podemos mejorarnos como lderes para servir a nuestra comunidad 1 2 3 4 5 22. Ense nuevas formas de llevar la crianza de la familia 1 2 3 4 5 23. Aument la aceptacin de diferencias culturales 1 2 3 4 5 24. Alent a los participantes a sentirse ms relajados y abiertos con sus vecinos 1 2 3 4 5 25. Cre la oportunidad para que los padres tuvieran conversaciones positivas 1 2 3 4 5 26. Cre oportunidades para que los padres pudieran tener acceso a recursos y servicios 1 2 3 4 5 27. Aument la comprensin acerca de los factores de proteccin 1 2 3 4 5 28. Aument y mejor la auto estima 1 2 3 4 5 29. Ayud a disminuir el aislamiento 1 2 3 4 5 30. Ense a la gente acerca de la comprensin cultural y el respecto 1 2 3 4 5 31. Anim a la gente a ver el mundo de una forma distinta 1 2 3 4 5 32. Proporcion a la gente el tiempo para conversaciones profundas 1 2 3 4 5 33. Aument el aprecio por conversaciones significativas dentro de la comunidad 1 2 3 4 5 34. Aument el valor de las voces y sabidura de los padres 1 2 3 4 5 35. Se enfoc en los puntos fuertes de las familias y no en sus debilidades 1 2 3 4 5 36. Foment distintos puntos de vista en las conversaciones 1 2 3 4 5 37. Inspir a los padres a que sean mejores paps y miembros de la comunidad 1 2 3 4 5 38. Aument el conocimiento acerca de ser padre 1 2 3 4 5

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105 Cunto cree que cada beneficio se logr con su participacin en el Community C af? El Caf: No se logr en absoluto Se logr totalmente 39. Promovi el conocimiento sobre los recursos comunitarios 1 2 3 4 5 40. Disminuy el estrs 1 2 3 4 5 41. Ense a la gente a poner atencin a los dems 1 2 3 4 5 42. Ayud a la concientizacin y el debate acerca de las necesidades y asuntos de la comunidad 1 2 3 4 5 43. Conect a los paps con los lderes gubernamentales de su zona 1 2 3 4 5 44. Permiti que padres en situaciones difciles colaboraran con padres que hayan superado retos parecidos 1 2 3 4 5 45. Foment la capacidad de liderazgo que se aplique en nuevas situaciones 1 2 3 4 5 46. Elimin las barreras que normalmente impiden que la gente participe 1 2 3 4 5 47. Cre mayor sentido de responsabilidad por llenar las necesidades de los nios y las familias 1 2 3 4 5 48. Ense a la gente a reemplazar los malos hbitos con los buenos hbitos 1 2 3 4 5 49. Motiv a los participantes 1 2 3 4 5 50. Cre redes de contacto y colaboraciones dentro de la misma comunidad 1 2 3 4 5 51. Aument el conocimiento acerca de los puntos fuertes y dbiles de las familias 1 2 3 4 5 52. Ayud a cada quien a conocerse a si mismo 1 2 3 4 5 53. Foment un sentido de responsabilidad hacia los problemas y soluciones locales 1 2 3 4 5 54. Dio una voz a los padres y a otros preocupados con el bienestar de los nios 1 2 3 4 5 55. Reuni varias culturas que quizs no se hubieran conectado bajo otras condiciones 1 2 3 4 5 56. Dio a la gente una oportunidad para expresarse 1 2 3 4 5 57. Alent a ms organizaciones a que adopten el marco de los factores de proteccin 1 2 3 4 5 58. Foment la creatividad, la curiosidad y las nuevas ideas 1 2 3 4 5 59. Les dio esperanza a los desesperados 1 2 3 4 5

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106 Cunto cree que cada beneficio se logr con su participacin en el Community C af? El Caf: No se logr en absoluto Se logr totalmente 60. Dio una distraccin agradable a los padres fuera de su casa 1 2 3 4 5 61. Anim a la gente a intercambiar ideas con gente con la cual normalmente no interactuaran 1 2 3 4 5 62. Permiti que la gente compartiera su experiencia personal, su historia, y su cultura 1 2 3 4 5 63. Ayud a la gente a descubrir sus propias destrezas y habilidades 1 2 3 4 5 64. Rompi las barreras que nos separan 1 2 3 4 5 65. Permiti que los padres tuvieran una voz en las conversaciones acerca de los programas y las organizaciones 1 2 3 4 5 66. Permiti el desarrollo y cambio personal 1 2 3 4 5 67. Ofreci un ambiente seguro que apoy y favoreci las conversaciones 1 2 3 4 5 68. Promovi relaciones ms sanas 1 2 3 4 5 69. Desarroll en los paps la confianza y esperanza que ellos tengan la capacidad de mejorar las cosas para sus hijos 1 2 3 4 5 70. Permiti que los padres descubrieran su propio potencial y sabidura 1 2 3 4 5 71. Desarroll un sentido de aceptacin y pertenencia 1 2 3 4 5 72. Construy un ejrcito de entrenadores y personas que pueden hablar sobre como fortalecer a las familias utilizando el marco de los factores de proteccin 1 2 3 4 5 73. Conect a los padres con las escuelas y profesores/maestros 1 2 3 4 5 74. Incentiv la responsabilidad individual hacia el desarrollo de la familia y de s mismo 1 2 3 4 5 75. Respet y honr por igual la contribucin de cada quien 1 2 3 4 5 76. Permiti que un grupo de personas pudiera, a travs de una lluvia de ideas, realizar una lista de soluciones a problemas y abogar por cambios 1 2 3 4 5 77. Construy un sentido de comunidad 1 2 3 4 5 78. Anim a que todos tuvieran confianza en la sabidura presente en el saln 1 2 3 4 5 79. Incentiv a los padres a entender mejor el desarrollo infantil 1 2 3 4 5

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107 Cunto cree que cada beneficio se logr con su participacin en el Community C af? El Caf: No se logr en absoluto Se logr totalmente 80. Reuni a la comunidad con el propsito de enfocarse en las metas compartidas de ayudar a las familias y la comunidad 1 2 3 4 5 81. Construy alianzas entre padres, empresas y organizaciones de la comunidad 1 2 3 4 5 82. Cre nuevas tradiciones 1 2 3 4 5 83. Ayud a que los padres comprendan que no estn solos 1 2 3 4 5

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108 APPENDIX B AVERAGE STATEMENT RA TINGS OF IMPORTANCE Parenting and leadership 5 4.5 1 Promotes parent engagement and involvement 69 4.4 4 Builds confidence and hope that parents are capable of making it better for their children 37 4.2 9 Inspires parents to be better parents and community members 2 4.2 4 Offers an opportunity for parents to become leaders 44 4.2 4 Allows parents in challenging situations to collaborate with parents who have thrived in similar situations 12 4.2 1 Allows parents to get to know each other and develop friendships 38 4.1 5 Increases knowledge of parenting 15 4.1 4 Enhances parenting skills and abilities 79 4.0 0 Encourages parents to better understand child development 26 3.9 1 Creates opportunities for parents to access resources and services 1 3.8 5 Teaches parents to step out of their comfort zone 4.1 8 Average : Sense of community and voice 83 4.5 3 Helps parents understand they are not alone 77 4.4 5 Builds a sense of community 25 4.4 0 Creates the opportunity for parents to have positive conversations 70 4.3 7 Allows parents to discover their potential and their wisdom 54 4.3 7 Gives voice to parents and others concerned with the well being of children 34 4.3 0 Raises the value of parent voices and wisdom 80 4.2 7 Brings the community together to focus on common goals to help families and the community 65 4.2 0 Allows parents to have a voice in conversations about programs and organizations 73 4.0 7 Connects parents to schools and teachers 81 3.9 5 Builds partnerships between parents, businesses and organizations in the community 60 3.4 7 Gives parents a nice distraction outside of the house 4.2 2 Average : Social Strengths and Connections 10 4.4 3 Creates positive social networks for parents and caregivers 13 4.3 4 Builds protective factors for families 14 4.2 6 Allows a chance to talk to others about the challenges and joys of raising a family 3 4.2 3 Encourages families to share their thoughts and ideas about parenting techniques that worked 7 4.2 2 Teaches people how to make their families stronger 22 4.0 8 Teaches new ways to cope when raising families 51 3.7 8 Increases knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of families 43 3.3 1 Connects parents to local government leaders 4.0 8 Average : Community needs and resources 35 4.4 5 50 4.3 8 Creates networks and collaboration within the community 74 4.0 5 Encourages individual responsibility of personal and family development

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109 47 4.0 0 Creates a higher sense of accountability for providing what children and families need 21 3.9 6 Provides information on how we can better serve communities as leaders 9 3.9 2 Teaches participants how to find and use resources when needing to deal with a situation or need 39 3.8 7 Promotes awareness of community resources 42 3.8 5 Helps to raise awareness and discussion about the community needs and issues 72 3.8 2 Builds an army of trainers and speakers on strengthening families through protective factors 27 3.7 5 Increases understanding about protective factors 57 3.7 4 Encourages more organizations to adopt the protective factor framework 3.9 8 Average : Culture and traditions 20 4.3 6 Generates collective wisdom 62 4.2 7 Allows people to share their personal experiences, history, and culture 55 4.2 5 Brings together a variety of cultures that may not have connected otherwise 45 4.1 3 Builds leadership that carries into new environments 23 4.0 9 Increases acceptance of cultural differences 30 4.0 9 Teaches people about cultural understanding and respect 24 4.0 9 Encourages people to feel more relaxed and open with neighbors 16 4.0 0 Preserves culture and traditions 82 3.6 9 Creates new traditions 18 3.6 7 Gives hope to our future generations 4.0 7 Average : Personal expression 29 4.4 9 Helps decrease isolation 67 4.4 0 Provides a supportive and safe environment for conversation 61 4.3 8 normally interact with 17 4.3 2 Provides the opportunity to be heard and validated without being judged 4 4.3 0 Builds trust 8 4.2 6 Allows people to be listened to by others 76 4.1 6 Allows a group of people to brainstorm solutions to problems and advocate for change 49 4.1 1 Motivates participants 32 4.0 9 Provides the time for deep conversations 58 4.0 4 Encourages creativity, curiosity, and new ideas 41 4.0 0 Teaches people to listen to others 28 3.9 3 Builds and improves self esteem 11 3.8 0 Leaves people with a better sense of their unique strength 52 3.6 5 Helps people develop discover inner self 4.1 4 Average : Personal discovery 68 4.3 3 Promotes healthier relationships 56 4.3 0 Gives people the opportunity to express themselves 63 4.0 7 Helps people discover their own skills and abilities 66 3.9 3 Allows for personal growth and change

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110 19 3.9 1 Lets people share their hopes, dreams, and goals 59 3.8 7 Provides hope to the hopeless 6 3.8 3 Provides time to rest, laugh, and reflect 40 3.7 8 Takes away stress 4.0 0 Average : Miscellaneous 36 4.4 0 Encourages different points of view in conversation 33 4.0 9 Increases appreciation for meaningful community conversation 53 3.9 5 Promotes ownership of local problems and solutions 48 3.4 8 Teaches people to replace bad habits with good ones 3.9 8 Average : Foster respect and equality 75 4.3 2 64 4.2 5 Breaks down barriers that separate us 46 4.2 4 Removes barriers that generally keep people from participating 31 4.2 0 Encourages people to look at the world differently 78 4.1 9 Encourages everyone to trust the wisdom in the room 71 4.1 3 Develops a sense of belonging and acceptance Average 4.22

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111 APPENDIX C AVERAGE STATEMENT RA TINGS OF ACHIEVEMENT Parenting and leadership 5 4.36 Promotes parent engagement and involvement 12 4.22 Allows parents to get to know each other and develop friendships 37 4.21 Inspires parents to be better parents and community members 69 4.17 Builds confidence and hope that parents are capable of making it better for their children 38 4.09 Increases knowledge of parenting 44 3.94 Allows parents in challenging situations to collaborate with parents who have thrived in similar situations 15 3.91 Enhances parenting skills and abilities 1 3.85 Teaches parents to step out of their comfort zone 2 3.85 Offers an opportunity for parents to become leaders 79 3.79 Encourages parents to better understand child development 26 3.74 Creates opportunities for parents to access resources and services 4.01 Average: Sense of community and voice 25 4.47 Creates the opportunity for parents to have positive conversations 83 4.43 Helps parents understand they are not alone 77 4.34 Builds a sense of community 34 4.30 Raises the value of parent voices and wisdom 54 4.26 Gives voice to parents and others concerned with the well being of children 80 4.15 Brings the community together to focus on common goals to help families and the community 60 4.09 Gives parents a nice distraction outside of the house 70 4.02 Allows parents to discover their potential and their wisdom 65 4.02 Allows parents to have a voice in conversations about programs and organizations 73 3.72 Connects parents to schools and teachers 81 3.52 Builds partnerships between parents, businesses and organizations in the community 4.12 Average: Social Strengths and Connections 14 4.38 Allows a chance to talk to others about the challenges and joys of raising a family 3 4.19 Encourages families to share their thoughts and ideas about parenting techniques that worked 10 3.98 Creates positive social networks for parents and caregivers 13 3.91 Builds protective factors for families 7 3.87 Teaches people how to make their families stronger 51 3.79 Increases knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of families 22 3.68 Teaches new ways to cope when raising families 43 2.81 Connects parents to local government leaders 3.83 Average: Community needs and resources 35 4.34 Focuses on 50 4.11 Creates networks and collaboration within the community 42 4.04 Helps to raise awareness and discussion about the community needs and issues 21 3.98 Provides information on how we can better serve communities as leaders

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112 39 3.89 Promotes awareness of community resources 74 3.85 Encourages individual responsibility of personal and family development 47 3.77 Creates a higher sense of accountability for providing what children and families need 27 3.65 Increases understanding about protective factors 72 3.62 Builds an army of trainers and speakers on strengthening families through protective factors 9 3.62 Teaches participants how to find and use resources when needing to deal with a situation or need 57 3.39 Encourages more organizations to adopt the protective factor framework 3.84 Average: Culture and traditions 62 4.61 Allows people to share their personal experiences, history, and culture 20 4.36 Generates collective wisdom 55 4.26 Brings together a variety of cultures that may not have connected otherwise 24 4.09 Encourages people to feel more relaxed and open with neighbors 23 3.93 Increases acceptance of cultural differences 30 3.85 Teaches people about cultural understanding and respect 16 3.85 Preserves culture and traditions 45 3.64 Builds leadership that carries into new environments 18 3.50 Gives hope to our future generations 82 3.38 Creates new traditions 3.95 Average: Personal expression 61 4.55 with 67 4.53 Provides a supportive and safe environment for conversation 8 4.51 Allows people to be listened to by others 17 4.46 Provides the opportunity to be heard and validated without being judged 29 4.40 Helps decrease isolation 32 4.26 Provides the time for deep conversations 4 4.17 Builds trust 49 4.13 Motivates participants 58 4.11 Encourages creativity, curiosity, and new ideas 41 4.04 Teaches people to listen to others 76 3.87 Allows a group of people to brainstorm solutions to problems and advocate for change 11 3.68 Leaves people with a better sense of their unique strength 28 3.65 Builds and improves self esteem 52 3.51 Helps people develop discover inner self 4.13 Average: Personal discovery 56 4.57 Gives people the opportunity to express themselves 68 4.19 Promotes healthier relationships 6 4.13 Provides time to rest, laugh, and reflect 19 4.06 Lets people share their hopes, dreams, and goals 63 3.87 Helps people discover their own skills and abilities

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113 66 3.79 Allows for personal growth and change 40 3.78 Takes away stress 59 3.47 Provides hope to the hopeless 3.98 Average: Miscellaneous 36 4.55 Encourages different points of view in conversation 33 4.34 Increases appreciation for meaningful community conversation 53 3.91 Promotes ownership of local problems and solutions 48 3.24 Teaches people to replace bad habits with good ones 4.01 Average: Foster respect and equality 75 4.49 78 4.36 Encourages everyone to trust the wisdom in the room 71 4.17 Develops a sense of belonging and acceptance 46 4.13 Removes barriers that generally keep people from participating 64 4.02 Breaks down barriers that separate us 31 3.87 Encourages people to look at the world differently 4.17 Average:

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114 APPENDIX D IRB A PPROVAL

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115 APPENDIX D INFORMED CONSENT FOR M INFORMED CONSENT University of Florida Protocol Title: Evaluation of United Way of America Strengthening Families Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in the study. 1. Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the Community Caf initiative in your community. 2. What will you be asked to do in the study: You may be asked to participate in one or more of the steps in th is evaluation process. The steps include: a) brainstorming of ideas about the benefits of Community Caf, b) sorting ideas into meaningful groups, and c) rating the ideas on a questionnaire. You may be asked to participate in any or all of these steps in the evaluation process. 3. Time Required: Each step in the evaluation will be completed at different times. The time period for collecting data will be approximately 1 year; however, your participation will be limited to brainstorming (about 15 30 minutes), sorting (about 30 minutes), and/or rating (about 30 minutes). 4. Risks: There are no risks in participating in this research beyond those experienced in everyday life. 5. Benefits: Your participation in the study may not only increase your u nderstanding of Community Cafs, but it may also promote positive parenting and healthy child development. Likewise, your feedback will be used to evaluate and improve the implementation of Community Cafs. 6. Confidentiality: Your identity will be ke pt confidential to the extent provided by law. You will research requirements, and (b) keep track of your responses over time. The list connecting your name to your email address will be kept in a locked file cabinet. When the study is completed and the data has been analyzed, the list will be destroyed. Your name will not be used in any report. 7. Voluntary Participation: You do not have to participate in t his research. You can end your participation at any time. You do not have to answer any questions you do not want to answer. 8. Compensation: You will not be compensated for your participation in the study. 9. Right to Withdraw from the Study : You have the right to withdraw from the study at any time without penalty. 10. Contact Information : United Way Strengthening Families Informed Consent

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116 National Evaluators: David Diehl, Ph.D., or Larry Forthun, Ph.D., University of Florida, Family, Youth, and Community Sciences, phone: (352) 392 177 8, dcdiehl@ufl.edu or lforthun@ufl.edu 11. Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant : IRB02 Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 2250, phone: (352) 392 0433 You must be 18 years of age or older to consent to participate in this research study If you give your consent to participate in this study, please sign below as indicated. Please keep a copy of this informed consent for your records. _______________________ ______________________________________________________ Printed Name S ignature Date Approved by University of Florida Institutional Review Board 02 Protocol # 2008 U 0631 For Use Through: 06 19 2010

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117 LIST OF REFERENCES American Academy of Pediatrics. (2010). What to know about child abuse. http://www.healthychildren.org/english/safety prevention/at home/Pages/What to Know about Child Abuse.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000 0000 0000 0000 000000000000&nfstatusdesc ription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token Armstrong, M.I., Birnie Lefcovitch, S. &Ungar, M.T. (2005). Pathways between social support, family well being, quality of parenting, and child resilience: What we know. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 14( 2), 269 281. Barnett, M. A. (2008). Economic disadvantage in complex family systems: expansion of family stress models. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 11 145 161. Bernard, R.H. (2000). Social Research Methods.Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.p.143 172. B lgbee, J.L. (1992). Family stress, hardiness, and illness: A pilot study. Family Relations, 41 (2), p 212 217. Bohm, D. & Peat, D. (2000). Science, order, and creativity 2nd edition. London: Routledge. Brooks, J. (2008). The process of parenting. New York NY: McGraw Hill. Brown, J. (2001). The World Caf: Living knowledge through conversations that matter Doctoral dissertation, the Fielding Institute, available through Pegasus Communications, Cambridge, MA at www .pegasuscom.com Brown, J. & Isaacs, D. (1996). Conversation as a core business process. The Systems Thinker, 7 (10), 1 6. Brown, J., Isaacs, D., Margulies, N. (1997). The World Caf: Creating the future, one conversation at a time. Whole Systems Associates p. 1 9. Brown, J., Isaacs, D., & World Caf Community. (2005). The World Caf: Shaping our futures through conversations that matter San Francisco, CA: Berrett Koehler Publishers. Bryman, A. (2004). Social research methods New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. Center for the Study of Social Policy. (2008). The five protective factors. Retrieved from http://www.strengtheningfamilies.net/index.php/main_pages/pro tective_factors Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (June 1, 2009). Child maltreatment: Risk and protective factors. Ret rieved from http://www.cdc.gov/ violencep revention/childmaltreatment/riskprotectivefactors.html

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118 Child Trends. 2003. Parental warmth and affection Washington, D.C.: Child Trends. http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/archive pgs/52.htm Child Welfare Information Gateway, Children's Bureau, & FRIENDS National Resource Center For Community Based Child Abuse Prevention. (2010). Working with families: The five protective factors parental resilience. In Strengthening Families and Co mmunities: 2010 Resource Guide (Chapter 2). Retrieved from http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/res_guide_2010/ch_two_parental.cfm Concept Mapping Systems, Inc. (2010). [Images illustrating point rating maps, cluster rating maps, and pattern matches]. Concept Mapping Methodology: An Example Retrieved from http://www.conceptsystems.com/content/view/methodol ogy.html Denham, S. A., &Weissberg, R. P. (2004). Social emotional le arning in early childhood: What we know and where to go from here. In E. Chesebrough, P. King, T. P. deVaus, D. A. (2001). Research design in social research London: Sage Publications. Key National Indicators of Well Being, 2010. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community Based Child Abuse Prevention (2007). The development and validation of the Protective Factors Survey: A self report measure of protective factors against child maltreatment phase III report. Kansas: The University of Kansas Institute for Educational Research & Public Service. Galvin P.F. (1989). Concept mapping for planning and evaluat ion of a Big Brother/Big Sister program. Evaluation and Program Planning, 12 53 51. Goddard, H.W. & Allen, J.D. (1991). Using the ABCX model to understand resilience. Denver: Theory Construction and Re search Methodology Workshop. Hashima, P.Y. & Amato, P.R. (1994). Poverty, social support, and parental behavior. Child Development, 65 (2), 394 403. Hechenbleikner, P., Gilburg, D., &Dunnell, K. (2008). Reading's World Caf: Increasing community engagement in planning for the future. Public Management, 90 (10), 6 12. Horton, C. (2003). Protective factors literature review: Early education and education programs and the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Center for the Study of Social Policy. p. 152 Hurley T.J. & Brown, J. (2009). Conversational leadership: Thinking together for a change. The Systems Thinker, 20 (9), 1 6.

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119 behavior in public with a brief parent discussion g roup. Child Psychiatry Human Development, 41, 47 60. Johnsen, J.A., Biegel, D.E. &Shafran, R. (2000). Concept mapping in mental health: uses and adaptations. Evaluation and Program Planning, 23 67 75. Jongeneel, A. & Randall, P. (2009). Using World Caf t o rebuild optimism at Renault Trucks UK. SCM, 13(4), 28 31. Kane, M. &Trochim, W.M.K. (2007). Concept mapping for planning and evaluation. California: SAGE Publications, Inc. Kotchick, B. A., Dorsey, S., & Heller, L.. (2005). Predictors of parenting among African American single mothers: Personal and contextual factors. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67 448 460. Magnuson, K. &Votruba Drzal, E. (2009). Enduring influences of childhood poverty. Focus, 26 (2), 32 37. Ma sten, A.S. and Wright, M.O. (1998). Cumulative risk and protection models of child maltreatment. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 2 (1), p 7 30. McCubbin, H.I. (1979). Integrating coping behavior in family stress theory. Journal of Marriage and Family, 41 (2), 237 244. McCubbin, H., Sussman, M., Patterson, J. (1983). Social stress and the family: Advancements and development in family stress theory and research. New York: The Hawthorne Press, Inc. McCubbin, L.D., &McCubbin, H. (2005). Culture and ethnic identity in family resilience: Dynamic processes in trauma and transformation of indigenous people. ln M. Unger (Ed.), Handbook for working with children and youth: Pathways to resilience across cultures and contexts (pp.27 44). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. McCubbin, M.A. (1988). Family stress, resources, and family types: Chronic illness in children. Family Relations, 37 (2), p 203 210. McLoyd, Vonnie C. (1990). The impact of economic hardship on black families and children: Psychological distress, par enting, and socioemotional development. Child Development, 61 (2), Special Issue on Minority Children, 311 346. Michalski, G. V. & Cousins, J. B. (2000). Differences in stakeholder perceptions about training evaluation: a concept mapping/pattern matching i nvestigation. Evaluation and Program Planning, 23, 211 230. Mihalic, S.W. & Elliott, D. (1997). A Social Learning Theory model of marital violence. Journal of Family Violence, 12 (1), 21 47.

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120 Moore, K.A., Whitney, C., &Kinukawa, A. (2009). Exploring the lin ks between family strengths and adolescent outcomes Washington, DC: Child Trends. Mulsow, M., Caldera, Y. M., Pursley, M., Reifman, A., & Houston, A. C. (2002). Multilevel factors influencing maternal stress during the first three years. Journal of Marri age and Family, 64 944 956. Orientation Guide: Changing the Lives of Children through Conversations that Matter. Retrieved from https://www.msu.edu/user/nactpf/images/initiatives/Parents resources pdfs/Host_Orientation_Kit.pdf Parke, R. D., Coltrane, S., Duffy, S., Buriel, R., Dennis, J., Powers, J., French, S. &Widaman, K. F. (2004). Economic stress, parenting, and child adjustment in Mexican American and European American families. Child Development, 75 (6), 1632 1656. Patterson, Jon M. (2002). Integrating family resilience and family stress theory. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64 (2), 349 360. Shepard, R.N. (1980). Multidimensional scaling, tree fitting, and clustering. Science 210(4468), 300 398. Smith, Suzanna D. (1984). Family stress theory: Review and critique. San Francisco: National Council on Fa mily Relations. Strengthening Families Illinois. (2007). Protecting children by strengthening families: Six ways to keep families strong through early care and education. Retrieved from http://www.strengtheningfamiliesillinois.org/downloads/6_Factors.pdf Sutherland, S. &Katzb, S. (2005). Concept mapping methodology: A catalyst for organizational learning. Evaluation and Program Planning, 28 257 269. Thoits, P.A. Stress, cop ing, and social support processes: Where are we? What next?. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 35 53 79. Trochim, W.M.K. (1989a). An introduction to concept mapping for planning and evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning, 12 1 16. Trochim, W.M.K (1989b). Concept mapping: Soft science or hard art? Evaluation and Program Planning, 12 87 110. Trochim, W.M.K. (1993). The reliability of concept mapping. In: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Evaluation Association, Dallas, TX., N ovember.

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121 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and (2010). Child Maltreatment 2009. Available from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm can White, Rebecca M.B., Roosa, Mark W., Weaver, Scott R., & Nair, Rajni L. (2009). Cultural and contextual influences on parenting in Mexican American fa milies. Journal of Marriage and Family, 71 61 79.

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122 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Samantha Carannante graduated from Oral Roberts University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Teaching E nglish as a Second Language. In the spring of 2011, she received her Master of Science from the University of Florida in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences with a concentra tion in Family and Youth Development. Samantha plans to pursue a career in teaching elementary education and family service fields.