Diffusion of a developmental asset-building initiative in public schools

Carolyn K. Lafferty, Colleen A. Mahoney, Dennis L. Thombs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify characteristics that distinguish between school personnel who do and do not adopt asset-building behaviors in the formative stage of a countywide initiative. Methods: An anonymous questionnaire, assessing constructs from diffusion of innovation and social cognitive theories, was administered to 467 adult personnel in 3 school districts. Results: Discriminant analysis revealed that implementation of asset building was most closely related to rating the initiative high on trialability, relative advantage, compatibility, and observability and low on complexity. Conclusions: Efforts to implement asset-building initiatives need to assess perceptions of adult personnel and should not assume that positive youth development will be widely supported in schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S35-S44
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Behavior
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Diffusion of innovation
  • Positive youth development
  • Social cognitive theory


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