Journal of Community Psychology

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Validating the formative nature of psychological empowerment construct: Testing cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and relational empowerment components


The literature has recently raised the need to clarify the nature of psychological empowerment. There are theoretical and empirical evidences that this conceptualization may not be appropriate, and therefore other alternatives to the reflective measurement model should be considered. Consequently, serious problems may arise from the measurement model misspecification, undoubtedly compromising the development of empowerment theory and measurement. This empirical study constitutes an attempt to contribute to this debate, not only testing both reflective and formative models of psychological empowerment, to find the most appropriate modeling approach as a higher‐order multidimensional construct, but also validating a measure that assesses cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and relational components in a Portuguese youth community‐organizing context (N = 861). Confirmatory tetrad analyses results suggest a formative operationalization of psychological empowerment construct. These findings are supported by additional theoretical and empirical considerations. Additionally, the 46‐item index for measure psychological empowerment reveals satisfactory psychometric properties.

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