Empowerment of Women in College as Related to Their Social and Personal Spheres

Bailey N Mack, Purdue University


Emerging adulthood is a key transitionary period for women in the United States; during this time, women experience a multitude of stressors that leave them vulnerable to developing self-harming behaviors that could ultimately lead to failure in their later years. Women can often struggle with forming positive relationships that could help to reduce the stressors of this transition. To help women through this transitionary period, therapists should foster empowerment in their college clients. Empowerment refers to the ability of individuals to recognize and enact their skills and resources that allow them to effectively handle their daily and future stressors. By fostering empowerment in college women, therapists can help women to recognize their own qualities that will allow them to successfully navigate the stressors of emerging adulthood. This study used structural equational modeling to test the effect that empowerment has on college women’s perceived social support, as well as the effect that empowerment has on the amount and intensity of college women’s non-suicidal self-harm (NSSH). This study found that there is a positive relationship between empowerment and perceived social support, which supports the idea that fostering positive relationships in college women is important for their future successes. Furthermore, this study found a negative relationship between empowerment and NSSH. Finally, this study demonstrates that women often do not feel empowered in their everyday lives and that empowerment is a systemic issue that requires support from all the various groups in women’s lives.




Nalbone, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Therapy|Womens studies|Higher education

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