Volunteer leaders are increasingly being utilized to deliver community strength training classes, but the factors affecting adoption of volunteer delivery approaches by educators or program managers have not been well explored. This study sought to identify these factors by comparing perspectives of adopting and nonadopting county Extension educators for a group strength training program delivered through county Cooperative Extension offices. Semistructured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of adopting (n=6) and nonadopting (n=13) educators. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and coded using thematic content analysis. Review of codes related to adoption or nonadoption of volunteer delivery approaches produced common themes. Both groups acknowledged role differences between educators and volunteers and expressed concerns about maintaining program quality. Adopters expressed greater comfort with volunteer-led program approaches and understanding of the educator-volunteer role. Nonadopters were hesitant to request program participants serve as leaders but felt participants were capable. Both groups were motivated to offer the program for dual personal and community benefit, but nonadopters expressed reliance on the program to maintain physical activity habits and for social support. Findings can inform others seeking to adapt community programs for volunteer delivery or engage volunteers in existing program delivery.
Washburn, L. T., Cornell, C. E., Traywick, L., Felix, H. C., & Phillips, M. (2016). Volunteer Delivery of a Community-Based Strength Training Program: Comparison of Adopting and Nonadopting Extension Educator Perspectives. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 4(3), 8. https://scholarsjunction.msstate.edu/jhse/vol4/iss3/8
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