Many community mobilizers in Uganda do not recognize that psychological empowerment is central in social mobilization, and that social mobilization involves an interplay among several social psychological variables including; social capital, psychological sense of community and group member satisfaction to produce psychological empowerment for volunteers. This has led to rapid decline of well intended HIV/AIDS community initiatives. The study uses a cross-sectional survey design and explores the interplay among cognitive social learning variables that play a significant role in social mobilization, namely social capital, psychological sense of community, group member satisfaction and how they influence psychological empowerment. The study is grounded on the premise that the success of community initiatives relies on the strengths, commitment, expertise, skills and empowerment of volunteers. Data was collected from 370 respondents work ing as volunteers supporting people living with HIV/AIDS from five geographic clusters. The questionnaire used 4-point Likert scales in each of the four sections assessing social capital, psychological sense of community, group member satisfaction and psychological empowerment. Correlational analysis and multiple regression analysis are used to test the hypotheses. The findings of the study show that there is a significant relationship between group member satisfaction and psychological empowerment (p = 0.029), social capital and psychological sense of community (p = 0.000), and psychological empowerment and psychological sense of community (p = 0.000). Results also show that psychological sense of community (p = 0.000), is a stronger predictor of psychological empowerment than group member satisfaction (p = 0.060). The study recommends that in-order to be effective in social mobilization at the community level, it is essential to comprehend how the cognitive social learning variables interact to build psychological empowerment.



Social Mobilization, Social capital, Psychological; sense of community and Psychological Empowerment

Full Text:



Berkman, L. & Kawachi, K. (eds.), 2000: Social Epidemiology. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Bourdieu, P. (1986). ‘Forms of capital.’ Handbook of theory and Research in the sociology of education. John Richardson (Ed). Newyork: Greenwood press, pp 241 – 258

Brown, E., & Ferris, J. M. (2007). Social capital and philanthropy: An analysis of the impact of social capital on individual giving and volunteering. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector. Quarterly, 36, 85-99.

Bullen, P. & Onyx, J. (1998). Measuring social capital in five communities in NSW: Practitioners guide. www.mapl.com.au

Campbell, C. (2003). ‘Letting them die’ Why HIV/AIDS programmes fail. Oxford: James Currey

Campbell C. & Cornish F.(2010),Towards a ‘‘fourth generation’’ of approaches to HIV/AIDS management: creating contexts for effective community mobilization. AIDS Care Vol. 22, No. Supplement 2, 1569_1579

Chavis, D. M., & Wandersman, A.(1990). Sense of community in urban environment: A catalyst for participation and community development. American Journal of community Psychology, 18, 55-81.

Coleman, J. S. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journalof Sociology, 94/Supplement, S94-S120.

Cornish, F., & Campbell, C. (2009). The social conditions for successful peer education: A comparison of two HIV prevention programs run by sex workers in India and South Africa. American Journal of Community Psychology, 44, 123_135.

Giamartino, G., & Wandersman, A. (1983) Organizational Climate correlates of Viable urban block organizations. American Journal of Community Psychology, 11, 529 – 541.

Glover T.D., Parry,D.C. & Shinew,KJ (2005). Mobilizing Social capital in Community garden Contexts; Canadian Association for Leisure Studies ISBN 1-896886-01-9

Gruber, J., & Caffrey, M. (2005). HIV/AIDS and community conflict in Nigeria: Implications and challenges. Social Science and Medicine, 60, 1209_1218.

Holyoke T., (2004).Social Science Quaterly, Volume 85, Number 1, by the Southwestern Social Science Association

McMillan, .W., & Chavis, D.M.(1986). Sense of Community: A definition and theory. Journal of Community Psychology, 14(1), 6-23.

McMillan, D., Florin, P., Stevenson, J., Kerman, B., & Mitchell, R.E. (1995). Empowerment praxis in community coalitions. American Journal of Community Psychology, 23, 699–728.

McCarthy, J. D., and Zald, M. (1977). "Resource Mobilization and Social Movements". American Journal of Sociology. 82:1212 - 1241

Musick, M. A., & Wilson, J. (2008). Volunteers: A social profile. Indianapolis, IN:Indiana University Press.

Panth (2011). http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/node/5670

Peterson, N., & Reid, N., (2003) Paths to Psychological Empowerment in an Urban Community: Sense of Community and Citizen Participation in Substance Abuse Prevention Activities. Journal of Community Psychology,. 31(1), 25–38.

Perkins, D.D., & Zimmerman, M.A. (1995). Empowerment theory, research, and application. American Journal of Community Psychology, 23, 569-579.

Putnam, R., (1995) Bowling alone: America’s declining social capital. Journal of Democracy, 6(1), 65-78..

Pfeiffer, J. (2003). International NGOs and primary health care in Mozambique: The need for a new model of collaboration. Social Science and Medicine, 56, 725_738.

Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York, NY: Simon &


Rappaport, J. (1987). Terms of empowerment/exemplars of prevention: Towards a theory for community psychology. American Journal of Community Psychology 15, 121-148.

Seidman, E. (1988). ‘Back to the future, community Psychology: unfolding a theory of social intervention’, American Journal of Community Psychology, 16, 3-24.

Speer, P.W. (2000). Intrapersonal and interactional empowerment: Implications for theory. Journal of Community Psychology, 28, 51–61.

Speer, P. W., & Hughey, J. (1996). Journal of community and applied Social Psychology, 6, 177-187.

Speer, P. W., & Peterson, N.(1999). Sense of Community in Community Organizations: Structure and Evidence of Validity. Journal of Community Psychology, . 27,( 1), 97–113

Tesser, A. (1988). Towards a self-evaluation maintenance model of social behavior.In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (vol. 21, pp. 181–227). San Diego: Academic Press.

UNAIDS (1997). Community mobilization and AIDS. Technical Update. Http://data.unaids.org/pulications/irc-pubos/commob-tu_en.pdf

Walker Jr., & Jack L. (1983). ‘‘The Origin and Maintenance of Interest Groups in America.’’ American Political Science Review 77:390–406.

Watkins, S.C. (2003) Review of Catherine Campbell, ‘Letting them die: why HIV/AIDS prevention programmes fail’.

Population and Development Review, 29, 736-740.

Wallerstein, N. (1992). Powerlessness, empowerment and health: Implications for health promotion programs. American Journal of Health Promotion, 6(3), 197-205.

WHO (2003). Social Mobilization for health promotion. http://www.who.int/tdr/publications/documents/planning_dengue.pdf

Yemane, T.,(1967). Elementary Sampling Theory. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 258.

Zimmerman, M., A. (1990). Taking aim on empowerment research: On the distinction between psychological and individual conceptions. American Journal of Community Psychology, 18, 169-177


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.