Master of Arts
Mazna Patka, Ph.D.
Linda Buyer, Ph.D.
Christienne Dyslin, Ph.D.
The researcher of the present thesis aimed to determine if, and to what degree, the Women's Leadership Symposium and Student Leadership Institute at a small Midwestern university impacted psychological empowerment among program participants. In this mixed methods thesis on psychological empowerment among Women's Leadership Symposium and Student Leadership Institute participants, psychological empowerment was quantitatively measured two times: (1) before the participation in the Women's Leadership Symposium and Student Leadership Institute and (2) immediately after the Women's Leadership Symposium and Student Leadership Institute. After the measures were administered at Time 2, participants were asked to volunteer their contact information for participation in individual interviews. The quantitative component provided information on psychological empowerment over time and the qualitative component allowed me to explore the ways in which participants applied what they learned and suggestions for future leadership programming. Psychological empowerment scores were obtained from Women's Leadership Symposium and Student Leadership Institute participants. Additionally, generalized self-efficacy and participatory action scores were obtained from Student Leadership Institute participants. Measures were administered before the leadership programs started and immediately after each program ended. The Student Leadership Institute portion of this study utilized a control group. The experimental group of the Student Leadership Institute included leadership program participants and the control group included undergraduate students from three different classes. There were no significant differences in psychological empowerment scores from Time 1 to Time 2 for the Women's Leadership Symposium or for the Student Leadership Institute participants. For Student Leadership Institute participants there were no significant differences from Time 1 to Time 2 or between control and experimental groups for generalized self-efficacy scores. Additionally, there was no significant difference from Time 1 to Time 2 for participatory. However, there was a significant difference at Time 1 for participatory action scores between the control and experimental groups. Participatory action results indicate the experimental group engaged in more participatory actions than the control group. This was the first evaluation of the Women's Leadership Symposium and Student Leadership Institute, and I discuss implications for both research and practice.
Robbins, Candice, "Leadership Initiatives: A Mixed Methods Assessment of Psychological Empowerment" (2016). All Student Theses. 79.