Youth Cognitive Empowerment: Development and Evaluation of an Instrument

Paul W. Speer, N. Andrew Peterson, Brian D. Christens, Robert Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Psychological empowerment (PE) is a multicomponent construct that involves the mechanisms through which people and groups gain control over their lives and environments. Psychological empowerment has previously been operationalized using measures of sociopolitical control among young people, with findings indicating links between PE and other positive developmental outcomes. Sociopolitical control, however, is only an indicator for the emotional component of PE. Research has largely neglected the cognitive component of PE, particularly in studies of younger people. In fact, few studies to date have presented and empirically tested measurement instruments for the cognitive component of PE among youth. In this study, we adapted a measure, which previously had been validated and used among adults, for use among young people and tested it in a sample of high school students (53% female, 75% Hispanic) in an urban school in the northeastern U.S. Confirmatory factor analyses were used to assess the hypothesized three-factor structure of cognitive empowerment, and the measure was examined for association with the construct of social justice orientation. Results indicate an adequate fit for the second-order factor, and an expected relationship with the related construct.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Fingerprint

empowerment
Psychology
evaluation
measurement method
Social Justice
Power (Psychology)
female student
Hispanic Americans
school
social justice
Statistical Factor Analysis
Students
Control Groups
Research
Group

Keywords

  • Civic engagement
  • Cognitive empowerment
  • Sociopolitical control
  • Sociopolitical development
  • Youth civic development

Cite this

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title = "Youth Cognitive Empowerment: Development and Evaluation of an Instrument",
abstract = "Psychological empowerment (PE) is a multicomponent construct that involves the mechanisms through which people and groups gain control over their lives and environments. Psychological empowerment has previously been operationalized using measures of sociopolitical control among young people, with findings indicating links between PE and other positive developmental outcomes. Sociopolitical control, however, is only an indicator for the emotional component of PE. Research has largely neglected the cognitive component of PE, particularly in studies of younger people. In fact, few studies to date have presented and empirically tested measurement instruments for the cognitive component of PE among youth. In this study, we adapted a measure, which previously had been validated and used among adults, for use among young people and tested it in a sample of high school students (53{\%} female, 75{\%} Hispanic) in an urban school in the northeastern U.S. Confirmatory factor analyses were used to assess the hypothesized three-factor structure of cognitive empowerment, and the measure was examined for association with the construct of social justice orientation. Results indicate an adequate fit for the second-order factor, and an expected relationship with the related construct.",
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Youth Cognitive Empowerment : Development and Evaluation of an Instrument. / Speer, Paul W.; Peterson, N. Andrew; Christens, Brian D.; Reid, Robert.

In: American Journal of Community Psychology, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Reid, Robert

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