Using Community Arts Events to Enhance Collective Efficacy and Community Engagement to Address Depression in an African American Community

This study's objective used community-partnered participatory research (CPPR) to measure collective efficacy and its role as a precursor of community engagement to improve depression care in the African American community of South Los Angeles. The authors collected survey data from participants at arts events sponsored by a CPPR workgroup. Both exploratory (photography exhibit; n = 747) and confirmatory (spoken word presentations; n = 104) structural equation models were developed to examine how knowledge and attitudes toward depression influenced community engagement.

In all models, collective efficacy to improve depression care independently predicted community engagement in terms of addressing depression. Social stigma was not significantly associated with collective efficacy or community engagement. In confirmatory analyses, exposure to spoken word presentations and previous exposure to CPPR initiatives increased perceived collective efficacy to improve depression care.

The authors concluded that enhancing collective efficacy to improve depression care may be a key component of increasing community engagement to address depression. CPPR events may also increase collective efficacy. Both collective efficacy and community engagement are relevant constructs in the South Los Angeles African-American community.