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Title:Citizen Participation, Perceived Control, and Psychological Empowerment
Author(s):Zimmerman, Marc Alan
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Personality
Abstract:This research integrates the citizen participation literature and research on perceived control in an effort to further our understanding of psychological empowerment. Psychological empowerment is conceptualized as acting to gain mastery and control and as the self perception that one can exert influence over the environment. Eleven indices of empowerment representing personality, cognitive, and motivational measures were identified to represent the construct.
A series of three studies examined the relationship between the empowerment measures and involvement in community activities and organizations. The first study used a laboratory manipulation designed to identify individuals who present themselves as willing to participate in only personally relevant situations, only community relevant situations, both personally and community relevant situations, or unwilling to participate in either situation. Study II examined differences for groups defined by actual involvement in community activities and organizations. Study III replicated Study II with a different population. All three studies used the same eleven indices of empowerment as dependent measures. Discriminant and convergent validity for the construct of psychological empowerment was tested using measures of alienation and leadership.
Similar results were obtained for laboratory and actual participation and across samples. Individuals reporting a greater amount of participation scored higher on the eleven indices of empowerment. The laboratory results were similar though weaker than those for actual participation. Canonical analyses across samples and measures of participation resulted in one significant dimension that distinguished groups categorized by various indices of citizen participation. This was identified as psychological empowerment. A canonical variate was computed from the canonical weights for the dependent measures and was positively correlated with leadership and negatively correlated with alienation across samples and participation measures.
The results suggest that empowerment is more than one's beliefs about personal control and mastery. Psychological empowerment appears to be a combination of beliefs and actions that integrate an individual into his or her community. Policy implications are discussed.
Issue Date:1986
Description:164 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8701667
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1986

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