Paths to Psychological Empowerment in An Urban Community: Sense of Community and Citizen Participation in Substance Abuse Prevention Activities

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Empowerment represents a promising intervention target for substance abuse prevention activities. To date, however, there has been a paucity of research examining the role of empowerment processes engaged in by citizens within substance abuse prevention contexts. Addressing this concern, this study tested a path model that included perceptions of person, situation, and environment-related predictors of empowerment. The hypothesized model was found to fit data from a sample of randomly selected urban residents (n = 661) who participated in an evaluation of a Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Community Partnership. Findings elucidate the need for developing substance abuse prevention initiatives that promote empowerment by increasing participation in substance abuse prevention activities, with particular emphasis on incorporating strategies designed to improve sense of community. Limitations of the study and directions for future research are discussed.



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