Date of Award

1999

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Specialization

Clinical Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Paul Florin

Abstract

The increased attention in the past decade to health promotion strategies has led to an increase in the study of empowerment processes. Despite this growing attention, however, there are only a limited number of studies that address empowerment in a systematic and empirical fashion. The present study utilizes data from 284 members of thirty-five community coalitions working to prevent alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems in the state of Rhode Island. Structural Equation Modeling of three competing models of empowerment effects were conducted to determine the best indicators of individual-level empowerment. An inclusive direct effects model, a model of participation effects, and a model utilizing variables indicated in an earlier study with this data set were examined (McMillan, Florin, Stevenson, Kerman, and Mitchell, 1995). While all three models (which examined the relationships of demographic variables, community variables, participation variables, and organizational climate variables to empowerment) showed some fit to the data set, only a revised version of the McMillan et al., 1995 model provided a truly adequate fit. Implications of this study and future directions for research are discussed.

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