Health educators have embraced empowerment as an alternative to traditional frameworks that place greater emphasis on individual health behaviors than socio-political factors that promote or constrain life-style choices. A critical element of empowerment theory for health educators is the participatory process in which people might engage to improve quality of life. As a piece of participatory process, social cohesion is an emerging construct that links community participation with notions of trust, shared emotional commitment and reciprocity. This study builds on prior research by exploring whether gender interacts with social cohesion to predict intrapersonal empowerment. Data were collected from interviews with randomly selected community residents. Extending previous studies, the findings showed that the effects of social cohesion on intrapersonal empowerment were different for females and males. Implications for community interventions and directions for future research are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health