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Psychological empowerment among urban youth: measure development and relationship to psychosocial functioning.

Authors
  • Ozer, Emily J
  • Schotland, Marieka
Type
Published Article
Journal
Health education & behavior : the official publication of the Society for Public Health Education
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2011
Volume
38
Issue
4
Pages
348–356
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1090198110373734
PMID: 21606379
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Although there are an increasing number of youth development programs that aim to empower young people, there is a dearth of psychometrically sound measures that can be used to assess flexible youth-led organizing and participatory research approaches that tackle a wide range of social and community problems. This study developed and tested measures of psychological empowerment (PE) and self-efficacy for research and action among a sample of 439 ethnically diverse adolescents primarily recruited from public high schools in an urban center. Items for the PE measure were generated through an iterative combination of conducting formative research with our target population while also drawing on existing theory and measures in the field. We conducted a confirmatory factor analysis of the PE measure, testing four factors: adolescents' motivation to influence their school and community settings; participatory behavior; sociopolitical skills; and perceived control. Psychometric analyses for the PE scales and their correlation with adolescents' report of self-esteem, academic achievement, caring relationships with adults at school, and social support from peers are reported; the implications of the present study for research and practice in the youth development and adolescent psychology field are considered.

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