Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Validation of the Abbreviated Socio-Political Control Scale for Youth (SPCS-Y) Among Urban Girls of Color

  • Published:
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

This study tested and validated the factor structure of the abbreviated Sociopolitical Control Scale for Youth (SPCS-Y) among a sample of urban girls of color. Participants include (N = 830) urban girls of color from a northeastern United States community. Confirmatory Factor analyses (CFA) were conducted using AMOS Structural Equation Modeling Software. Cluster groups were created using Latent Class Cluster Analysis (LCA) and tested using Multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) with conceptually related variables. CFA results supported the two-factor structure of the abbreviated SPCS-Y among the sample. Following the creation of cluster groups, MANCOVA analyses revealed significant heterogeneity among cluster groups of participants on neighborhood sense of community, social support, ethnic identity, and lower levels of drug use. Findings support the factor structure of the SPCS-Y and its use to measure empowerment among girls of color. Results contribute significantly to the field of social work and encourages the importance of promoting strengths-based approaches among girls of color. Implications for social work practice with girls of color are conveyed in light of the need for reliable measurement tools for practitioners.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Allen, K. R. (2016). Feminist theory in family studies: History, reflection, and critique. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 8, 207–224.

    Google Scholar 

  • Allen, K. R., & Jaramillo-Sierra, A. L. (2015). Feminist theory and research on family relationships: Pluralism and complexity. Sex Roles, 73, 93–99.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cauce, A. M., Felner, R. D., & Primavera, J. (1982). Social support in high-risk adolescents: Structural components and adaptive impact. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10, 417–428.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Cheryomukhin, A., & Peterson, N. A. (2014). Measuring relational and intrapersonal empowerment: Testing instrument validity in a former soviet country with a secular Muslim culture. American Journal of Community Psychology, 53, 382–393.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Christens, B. D. (2012). Toward relational empowerment. American Journal of Community Psychology, 50, 114–128.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Christens, B. D., Krauss, S. E., & Zeldin, S. (2016). Malaysian validation of a sociopolitical control scale for youth. Journal of Community Psychology, 44, 531–537.

    Google Scholar 

  • Christens, B. D., & Lin, C. S. (2014). Influences of community and organizational participation, social support, and sense of community on psychological empowerment: Income as moderator. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 42, 211–223.

    Google Scholar 

  • Christens, B. D., & Peterson, N. A. (2012). The role of empowerment in youth development: A study of sociopolitical control as mediator of ecological systems’ influence on developmental outcomes. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41, 623–635.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Christens, B. D., Peterson, C. H., & Speer, P. W. (2014). Psychological empowerment in adulthood. In T. P. Gullotta & M. Bloom (Eds.), Encyclopedia of primary prevention and health promotion (pp. 1766–1776). Boston, MA: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Christens, B. D., & Speer, P. W. (2015). Community organizing: Practice, research, and policy implications. Social Issues and Policy Review, 9, 193–222.

    Google Scholar 

  • Clonan-Roy, K., Jacobs, C. E., & Nakkula, M. J. (2016). Towards a model of positive youth development specific to girls of color: Perspectives on development, resilience, and empowerment. Gender Issues, 33, 96–121.

    Google Scholar 

  • Collins, P. H. (1999). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Connell, R. W. (1987). Gender and power. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Corneille, M. A., & Belgrave, F. Z. (2007). Ethnic identity, neighborhood risk, and adolescent drug and sex attitudes and refusal efficacy: The urban African American girls’ experience. Journal of Drug Education, 37, 177–190.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Crenshaw, K. (1991). Mapping the margins: Identity politics, intersectionality, and violence against women. Stanford Law Review, 43, 1241–1299.

    Google Scholar 

  • Few-Demo, A. L., Lloyd, S. A., & Allen, K. R. (2014). It’s all about power: Integrating feminist family studies and family communication. Journal of Family Communication, 14, 85–94.

    Google Scholar 

  • Forenza, B., & Lardier, D. T. (2017). Sense of community through supportive housing among formerly homeless individuals with serious mental illness. Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless, 26, 33–41.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hamilton, D., & Fauri, D. (2001). Social workers′ political participation: Strengthening the political confidence of social work students. Journal of Social Work Education, 37, 321–332.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hamme Peterson, C., Buser, T. J., & Westburg, N. G. (2010). Effects of familial attachment, social support, involvement, and self-esteem on youth substance use and sexual risk taking. The Family Journal, 18, 369–376.

    Google Scholar 

  • Harwell, M., & LeBeau, B. (2010). Student eligibility for a free lunch as an SES measure in education research. Educational Researcher, 39(2), 120–131.

    Google Scholar 

  • Holden, D. J., Crankshaw, E., Nimsch, C., Hinnant, L. W., & Hund, L. (2004a). Quantifying the impact of participation in local tobacco control groups on the psychological empowerment of involved youth. Health Education & Behavior, 31, 615–628.

    Google Scholar 

  • Holden, D. J., Evans, W. D., Hinnant, L. W., & Messeri, P. (2005). Modeling psychological empowerment among youth involved in local tobacco control efforts. Health Education & Behavior, 32, 264–278.

    Google Scholar 

  • Holden, D. J., Messeri, P., Evans, W. D., Crankshaw, E., & Ben-Davies, M. (2004b). Conceptualizing youth empowerment within tobacco control. Health Education & Behavior, 31, 548–563.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kann, L., Olsen, E. O. M., McManus, T., Harris, W. A., Shanklin, S. L., Flint, K. H., … & Thornton, J. (2016). Youth Risk Behavior Survey SurveillanceUnited States, 2015. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/yrbs.

  • Kazarian, S. S., & Boyadjian, M. D. (2008). Validation of the multigroup ethnic identity measure among ethnic Armenian adolescents in Lebanon. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 8, 335–347.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kirshner, B., & Ginwright, S. (2012). Youth organizing as a developmental context for African American and Latino adolescents. Child Development Perspectives, 6, 288–294.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lardier, D. T., Jr., Garcia-Reid, P., & Reid, R. J. (2018a). The interacting effects of psychological empowerment and ethnic identity on indicators of well-being among youth of color. Journal of Community Psychology, 46, 489–501.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lardier, D. T., Jr., Herr, K. G., Barrios, V. R., Garcia-Reid, P., & Reid, R. J. (2017). Merit in meritocracy: Uncovering the myth of exceptionality and self-reliance through the voices of urban youth of color. Education and Urban Society, 5, 474–500.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lardier, D. T., Jr., Reid, R. J., & Garcia-Reid, P. (2018b). Validation of an abbreviated Sociopolitical Control Scale for Youth among a sample of under-resourced urban youth of color. Journal of Community Psychology, 46, 996–1009.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lardier, D. T., Jr., Reid, R. J., & Garcia-Reid, P. (2018c). Validation of the brief sense of community scale among youth of color from an underserved urban community. Journal of Community Psychology, 46, 1062–1074.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • McMillan, D. W., & Chavis, D. M. (1986). Sense of community: A definition and theory. Journal of Community Psychology, 14, 6–23.

    Google Scholar 

  • Molix, L., & Bettencourt, B. A. (2010). Predicting well-being among ethnic minorities: Psychological empowerment and group identity. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40, 513–533. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2010.00585.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Morrel-Samuels, S., Zimmerman, M. A., & Reischl, T. M. (2013). Creating safe and healthy futures: Michigan youth violence prevention center. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 22, 31–36.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morton, M., Nelson, L., Walsh, C., Zimmerman, S., & Coe, R. M. (1996). Evaluation of a HIV/AIDS education program for adolescents. Journal of Community Health, 21, 23–35.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Opara, I. (2018). Examining African American parent-daughter HIV risk communication using a Black feminist-ecological lens: Implications for intervention. Journal of Black Studies, 49, 134–151.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Opara, I.,  Lardier, D. T., Jr., Reid, R. J., & Garcia-Reid, P. (2019). “It all starts with the parents”: A qualitative study on protective factors for drug-use prevention among Black and Hispanic girls. Affilia: Journal of Women & Social Work, 1–20.

  • Ozer, E. J., & Schotland, M. (2011). Psychological empowerment among urban youth: Measure development and relationship to psychosocial functioning. Health Education & Behavior, 38, 348–356.

    Google Scholar 

  • Peterson, N. A. (2014). Empowerment theory: Clarifying the nature of higher-order multidimensional constructs. American Journal of Community Psychology, 53, 96–108.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Peterson, N. A., Gilmore Powell, K., Hamme Peterson, C., & Reid, R. J. (2017). Testing the phrase completion response option format in a Sociopolitical Control Scale for Youth. Community Psychology in Global Perspective, 3, 57–71.

    Google Scholar 

  • Peterson, N. A., & Hughey, J. (2004). Social cohesion and intrapersonal empowerment: Gender as moderator. Health Education Research, 19, 533–542.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Peterson, N. A., Lowe, J. B., Hughey, J., Reid, R. J., Zimmerman, M. A., & Speer, P. W. (2006). Measuring the intrapersonal component of psychological empowerment: Confirmatory factor analysis of the sociopolitical control scale. American Journal of Community Psychology, 38, 287–297.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Peterson, N. A., Peterson, C. H., Agre, L., Christens, B. D., & Morton, C. M. (2011). Measuring youth empowerment: Validation of a sociopolitical control scale for youth in an urban community context. Journal of Community Psychology, 39, 592–605.

    Google Scholar 

  • Peterson, N. A., & Reid, R. J. (2003). Paths to psychological empowerment in an urban community: Sense of community and citizen participation in substance abuse prevention activities. Journal of Community Psychology, 31, 25–38.

    Google Scholar 

  • Peterson, N. A., Speer, P. W., & Hughey, J. (2006). Measuring sense of community: A methodological interpretation of the factor structure debate. Journal of Community Psychology, 34, 453–469.

    Google Scholar 

  • Peterson, N. A., Speer, P. W., & McMillan, D. W. (2008). Validation of a brief sense of community scale: Confirmation of the principal theory of sense of community. Journal of Community Psychology, 36, 61–73.

    Google Scholar 

  • Phinney, J. S. (1989). The multigroup ethnic identity measure: A new scale for use with diverse groups. Journal of Adolescent Research, 7, 156–176.

    Google Scholar 

  • Phinney, J. S., & Ong, A. D. (2007). Conceptualization and measurement of ethnic identity: Current status and future directions. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54, 271.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ponterotto, J. G., Gretchen, D., Utsey, S. O., Stracuzzi, T., & Saya, R., Jr. (2003). The multigroup ethnic identity measure (MEIM): Psychometric review and further validity testing. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 63, 502–515.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rodrigues, M., Menezes, I., & Ferreira, P. D. (2018). Validating the formative nature of psychological empowerment construct: Testing cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and relational empowerment components. Journal of Community Psychology, 46, 58–78.

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith, P. D., & Propst, D. B. (2001). Are topic-specific measures of socio-political control justified? Exploring the realm of citizen participation in natural resource decision making. Journal of Community Psychology, 29, 179–187.

    Google Scholar 

  • Speer, P. W. (2000). Intrapersonal and interactional empowerment: Implications for theory. Journal of Community Psychology, 28, 51–61.

    Google Scholar 

  • Speer, P. W., & Christens, B. D. (2012). Local community organizing and change: Altering policy in the housing and community development system in Kansas City. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 22, 414–427.

    Google Scholar 

  • Speer, P. W., Peterson, N. A., Armstead, T. L., & Allen, C. T. (2013). The influence of participation, gender and organizational sense of community on psychological empowerment: The moderating effects of income. American Journal of Community Psychology, 51, 103–113.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Stewart, S., Riecken, T., Scott, T., Tanaka, M., & Riecken, J. (2008). Expanding health literacy: Indigenous youth creating videos. Journal of Health Psychology, 13, 180–189.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Turner, S. G., & Maschi, T. M. (2015). Feminist and empowerment theory and social work practice. Journal of Social Work Practice, 29(2), 151–162.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vermunt, J. K., & Magidson, J. (2016). Technical guide for Latent GOLD 5.0: Basic, advanced, and syntax. Belmont, MA: Statistical Innovations Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vieno, A., Lenzi, M., Canale, N., & Santinello, M. (2014). Italian validation of the sociopolitical control scale for youth (SPCS-Y). Journal of Community Psychology, 42, 463–468.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang, Q., Chen, X., & Chen, Y. (2011). Development of a scale to measure residents’ psychological empowerment in Chinese urban community. Journal of Community Psychology, 39, 202–211.

    Google Scholar 

  • Watts, R. J., Diemer, M. A., & Voight, A. M. (2011). Critical consciousness: Current status and future directions. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 134, 43–57.

    Google Scholar 

  • West, S. G., Taylor, A. B., & Wu, W. (2012). Model fit and model selection in structural equation modeling. In R. H. Hoyle (Ed.), Handbook of structural equation modeling (pp. 209–231). New York: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zimmerman, M. A. (1990). Taking aim on empowerment research: On the distinction between individual and psychological conceptions. American Journal of Community Psychology, 18, 169–177.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zimmerman, M. A. (1995). Psychological empowerment: Issues and illustrations. American Journal of Community Psychology, 23, 581–599.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Zimmerman, M. A. (2000). Empowerment theory. In J. Rappaport & E. Seidman (Eds.), Handbook of community psychology (pp. 43–63). Boston, MA: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zimmerman, M. A., Ramirez-Valles, J., & Maton, K. I. (1999). Resilience among urban African American male adolescents: A study of the protective effects of sociopolitical control on their mental health. American Journal of Community Psychology, 27, 733–751.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Zimmerman, M. A., & Zahniser, J. H. (1991). Refinements of sphere-specific measures of perceived control: Development of a sociopolitical control scale. Journal of Community Psychology, 19, 189–204.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Drug Free Communities Grant (DFC) Initiative (Grant #SP022-19-01), funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The first author was supported with funding from a National Institute on Drug Abuse T 32 Training Grant (5T32 DA07233). Points of view, opinions, and conclusions in this paper do not necessarily represent the official position of the U.S. Government.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ijeoma Opara.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The authors of this manuscript have complied with APA ethical principles in their treatment of individuals participating in the research, program, or policy described in the manuscript. The research has been approved by Montclair State University.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Opara, I., Rivera Rodas, E.I., Lardier, D.T. et al. Validation of the Abbreviated Socio-Political Control Scale for Youth (SPCS-Y) Among Urban Girls of Color. Child Adolesc Soc Work J 37, 83–95 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-019-00624-9

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-019-00624-9

Keywords

Navigation