Exploring links between childhood maltreatment and empowerment



Empowerment theory may be useful in understanding the long-term impact of child maltreatment yet to date few studies have bridged these fields. The current study of female undergraduates was exploratory and examined links between a history of child maltreatment and several dimensions of empowerment. Factor analysis was used to create indices of intrapersonal sense of empowerment, community connections, and social action from various measures related to empowerment cited in the community psychology literature. Higher levels of reported maltreatment were related to lesser interpersonal sense of empowerment and self-report of lower levels of community connections even after controlling for the effects of negative family of origin environment. Implications for theory, research, and interventions are discussed. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.