Measuring empowerment: development and validation of the Service User Psychological Empowerment Scale

DOP Nanja van, DEPAUW Jan, DRIESSENS Kristel
Journal article citation:
Journal of Social Service Research, 42(5), 2016, pp.651-664.
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Current registrations and measurements used in social services are criticised for not providing an accurate reflection of the social work practice. The Service User Psychological Empowerment Scale (SUPES) was developed with input from both service users and social workers in order to provide an alternative measure. The SUPES is a 28-item scale that can be used to measure the intrapersonal, interactional, and behavioural dimensions of psychological empowerment among service users. The SUPES was tested among a sample of 349 service users in the setting of Public Centres for Social Welfare (PCSWs) in two Belgian cities. Through factor analysis, the SUPES was found to be valid and reliable in assessing the different dimensions of psychological empowerment among service users. Future research should evaluate the effects of social work interventions by assessing developments in the psychological empowerment of service users in the course of receiving social assistance. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
social work, empowerment, psychology, performance management, social services;
Content type:
Journal home page
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ISSN print:

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