There is an emerging interest in studying social action and civic engagement as a part of the developmental process. Studies among youth of color indicate that empowerment has been associated with well-being, a critical perspective, and in combating social oppression. These studies also show that civic involvement and awareness of social justice issues are associated with positive developmental outcomes including empowerment. The range of predictors and outcomes related to empowerment have been insufficiently explored. This study used structural equation modeling path analysis techniques to examine the association community civic participation and psychological sense of community have with intrapersonal and cognitive psychological empowerment, through both ethnic identity and social justice orientation among urban youth of color (N =383; 53.1% Female; 75% Hispanic; 50.6% were 13 and 15 years of age). Findings illustrate that greater community civic participation and psychological sense of community are associated with both intrapersonal and cognitive psychological empowerment, through both ethnic identity and a social justice orientation; however, with some noted variations. Ethnic identity and social justice orientation mediated community civic participation and psychological sense of community and both intrapersonal and cognitive psychological empowerment. Implications put forward for community youth-workers and community programming.
- Civic engagement
- Cognitive psychological empowerment
- Ethnic identity
- Intrapersonal psychological empowerment
- Sense of community
- Social justice
- Youth of color