Psychometric validation of the Growth and Empowerment Measure (GEM) applied with Indigenous Australians

Haswell, Melissa R., Kavanagh, David, Tsey, Komla, Reilly, Lyndon, Cadet-James, Yvonne, Laliberte, Arlene, Wilson, Andrew, and Doran, Chris (2010) Psychometric validation of the Growth and Empowerment Measure (GEM) applied with Indigenous Australians. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 44 (9). 791-799.

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Objective: Empowerment is a complex process of psychological, social, organisational and structural hange. It allows individuals and groups to achieve positive growth and effectively address the social and psychological impacts of historical oppression, marginalisation and disadvantage. The Growth and Empowerment Measure (GEM) was developed to measure change in dimensions of empowerment as defined and described by Aboriginal Australians who participated in the Family Well Being Program.

Method: The GEM has two components: a 14-item Emotional Empowerment Scale (EES14) and 12 Scenarios (12S). It is accompanied by the Kessler 6 Psychological Distress Scale (K6), supplemented by two questions assessing frequency of happy and angry feelings. For validation, the measure was applied with 184 Indigenous Australian participants involved in personal and/or organisational social health activities.

Results: Psychometric analyses of the new instruments support their validity and reliability and indicate two-component structures for both the EES (Self-Capacity; Inner Peace) and the 12S (Healing and Enabling Growth, Connection and Purpose). Strong correlations were observed across the scales and subscales. Participants who scored higher on the newly developed scales showed lower distress on the K6, particularly when the two additional questions were included. Exploratory factor analyses demonstrated that GEM subscales are separable from the Kessler distress measure.

Conclusion: The GEM shows promise in enabling measurement and enhancing understanding of both process and outcome of psychological and social empowerment within an Australian indigenous context.

Item ID: 11194
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1614
Keywords: Aboriginal; social and emotional well being; empowerment; psychometrics; relationships; measurement; psychometric
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2010 06:13
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 100%
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