American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 581–599 | Cite as

Psychological empowerment: Issues and illustrations

  • Marc A. Zimmerman


Discussed several issues related to psychological empowerment. The thesis of this paper is that the development of a universal and global measure of psychological empowerment may not be a feasible or appropriate goal. I begin by distinguishing between empowerment processes and outcomes. Underlying assumptions are discussed including the notion that empowerment differs across people, contexts, and times. A nomological network that includes intrapersonal, interactional, and behavioral components is also presented. Two examples of psychological empowerment for voluntary service organization members and members of a mutual help organization are described to help illustrate differences in the specific variables that may be used to measure psychological empowerment in different populations and settings.

Key Words

empowerment theory measurement psychological empowerment 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc A. Zimmerman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganMichiganAnn Arbor

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