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Further explorations in empowerment theory: An empirical analysis of psychological empowerment

Abstract

Developed empowerment theory and replicated previous research on citizen participation and perceived control. Few investigators have designed studies that specifically test empowerment theory. This research further extends a theoretical model of psychological empowerment that includes intrapersonal, interactional, and behavioral components, by studying a large randomly selected urban and suburban community sample and examining race differences. Results suggest that one underlying dimension that combines different measures of perceived control may be interpreted as the intrapersonal component of psychological empowerment, because it distinguishes groups defined by their level of participation in community organizations and activities (behavioral component). The association found between the intrapersonal and behavioral components is consistent with empowerment theory. Interaction effects between race groups and participation suggest that participation may be more strongly associated with the intrapersonal component of psychological empowerment for African Americans than for white individuals. Implications for empowerment theory and intervention design are discussed.

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The authors express appreciation to Steven Rosenstone who was the Principal Investigator for the Detroit Area Study from which the data for our study is based. We also thank Deborah A. Salem and the anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

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Zimmerman, M.A., Israel, B.A., Schulz, A. et al. Further explorations in empowerment theory: An empirical analysis of psychological empowerment. Am J Commun Psychol 20, 707–727 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01312604

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01312604

Keywords

  • Interaction Effect
  • Theoretical Model
  • Social Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Empirical Analysis