Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Journal of Community Psychology


Psychological empowerment (PE) encompasses key aspects of youth development and civic engagement. Empowerment scholarship has largely focused on the intrapersonal or emotional component of PE, which considers perceptions of control and self-efficacy, specifically in the sociopolitical sphere. Fewer studies have assessed the interactional or cognitive component of PE. Even less have examined the empirical association aspects of PE, including cognitive empowerment, with conceptually related variables, such as ethnic identity. Those studies that are present have shown that the association between aspects of PE and ethnic identity are complex. The current study of urban high school students of color (N = 383; 53.1% female; 75% Hispanic/Latinx) investigates the heterogeneity present between cognitive empowerment and ethnic identity. Latent class cluster analyses were conducted and five distinct profile groups emerged. Differences were observed on the basis of profile groups of cognitive empowerment and ethnic identity on self-reported dimensions of emotional PE (e.g., leadership and policy control) and social justice orientation. The majority of study participants were clustered in groups that identified moderate to high levels of both cognitive empowerment and ethnic identity. Results provide useful insights for theory and programming.



Published Citation

Lardier Jr, D. T., Barrios, V. R., Garcia‐Reid, P., & Reid, R. J. (2019). A latent class analysis of cognitive empowerment and ethnic identity: An examination of heterogeneity between profile groups on dimensions of emotional psychological empowerment and social justice orientation among urban youth of color. Journal of Community Psychology, 47(6), 1530-1547.