Being an empowered and contributing citizen has been increasingly advocated in contemporary democratic societies. Despite its benefits on community flourishing, little is known about whether and how developing an active and engaged citizenship contributes to the wellbeing of the individuals, especially those in less democratic societies. Grounded on the empowerment theory, the present study aimed to examine (1) the empowering processes through which sociopolitical control motivates civic engagement, and (2) the empowerment outcomes on emotional, psychological, and social well-being among emerging adults in Hong Kong and mainland China. Study 1 consists of two emerging adult samples from Hong Kong (N = 268) and mainland China (N = 252). Results of multi-sample structural equation modeling found that sociopolitical control were positively related to civic engagement, which was in turn associated with better psychological and social well-being, but not emotional well-being. Differential mediating effects of civic engagement were observed between emerging adults in Hong Kong and mainland China. Study 2 used three-wave data from a sample of emerging adults in Hong Kong (N = 535) to determine the directionality of the associations found in Study 1. Results of cross-lagged path analysis corroborated the findings of Study 1 and showed that civic engagement mediated the effect of sociopolitical control on social well-being across time, after controlling for autoregressive effects and basic demographics. The findings suggest that empowering emerging adults to gain control over social and political system can foster their participation in civic affairs. Through positive involvement in the community, emerging adults can build a positive relationship with society and actualize their potential for social betterment. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
CitationChan, R. C. H., & Mak, W. W. S. (2020). Empowerment for civic engagement and well-being in emerging adulthood: Evidence from cross-regional and cross-lagged analyses. Social Science & Medicine, 244. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112703
- Hong Kong
- Mainland China
- Sociopolitical control
- Civic engagement