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Health Educ Behav. 2002 Dec;29(6):699-715.

Predictors of perceived control among African American women in Detroit: exploring empowerment as a multilevel construct.

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  • 1Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


Efforts to enhance empowerment toward the aim of improved health require an understanding of factors that contribute to perceived control at multiple levels, as a dimension of empowerment. In this article, the authors examine hypothesized predictors of perceived control at multiple levels among urban, African American women. Variables that predict perceived control include greater participation in change-related action; level of activity within respondents' most important organizations; and attempts made by those organizations to influence public officials, businesses, and other groups. Results suggest that (1) perceived control is a context-specific, multilevel construct; (2) citizen participation is an important factor in control and influence at multiple levels; and (3) organizations that are involved within neighborhoods and in the broader community can help to increase control and influence at multiple levels in marginalized communities. Implications for health education practice and research are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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