Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 424–436 | Cite as

Parental Empowerment: Construct Validity and Reliability of a Dutch Empowerment Questionnaire (EMPO)

  • Harm Damen
  • Jan W. Veerman
  • Ad A. Vermulst
  • Rozemarijn Nieuwhoff
  • Ronald E. de Meyer
  • Ron H. J. Scholte
Original Paper


In this study, the construct validity and reliability of the Empowerment questionnaire (EMPO) that was developed in Dutch youth care was examined. The 12-item EMPO focuses on measuring parental empowerment in raising their children. The three components of psychological empowerment (intrapersonal, interactional, and behavioral) form the rationale for the EMPO. Non-clinical (n = 673) and clinical (n = 1,212) data were used. Construct validity was tested by the factorial structure, measurement invariance, correlations with other instruments (PSQ-S and SDQ), and empowerment differences between the two groups. Reliability was determined by testing the internal consistency and test-retest reliability. The results show that the factorial validity of the EMPO was sufficient to good, the EMPO was measurement invariant for various subgroups, and the EMPO scales were negatively correlated with parenting stress (PSQ-S) and child behavioral problems scales (SDQ). Furthermore, the clinical group was less empowered, and the correlation between parental empowerment and child behavioral problems was stronger in this group. In addition, both groups of parents had relatively high scores on the interactional component. In the clinical group, however, parental scores on the interactional component were less correlated with scores on the intrapersonal and behavioral components. Finally, reliability analyses showed a largely sufficient to good internal consistency and test-retest reliability. The EMPO seems to be an instrument with sufficient to good construct validity and reliability. Further research is recommended regarding the underlying assumptions, other aspects of validity, representativeness, and the way it should be used as a tool by professionals for supporting parental empowerment.


Parental empowerment Psychological empowerment Youth care Questionnaire Construct validity Reliability 



We would like to thank the parents and Pactum employees (youth care) and the employees of the CONRISQ Group (care of youth and adults) for their cooperation in this study.


This study was funded by Pactum. Grant Number: n.a.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict ofinterest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harm Damen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jan W. Veerman
    • 3
  • Ad A. Vermulst
    • 2
  • Rozemarijn Nieuwhoff
    • 1
  • Ronald E. de Meyer
    • 2
  • Ron H. J. Scholte
    • 2
  1. 1.PactumArnhemThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Praktikon, Radboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Behavioural Science InstituteRadboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands

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