Empowerment theory, research, and application

Am J Community Psychol. 1995 Oct;23(5):569-79. doi: 10.1007/BF02506982.


This introduction to the special issue briefly reviews the meaning and significance of the empowerment concept and problems associated with the proliferation of interest in empowerment. We identify some of the topics not included in this issue and relate those to the many broad and diverse areas of psychological empowerment theory and community-based research and intervention that are covered. We present synopses of each article along with some of the themes and lessons cutting across the frameworks, studies, and applications. These include a wide diversity of settings, fairly representative of empowerment interventions, and, at the same time, improved clarity (if not unanimity) of definitions and measurement, which has been a problem in much empowerment research and intervention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Community Participation
  • Humans
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Psychology, Social
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Social Environment