Development and validation of the 4-Factor Critical Consciousness Scale

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rose Ewald (Creator)
Muhsin Michael Orsini, AP Assistant Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Program (Creator)
Robert W. Strack, Associate Professor and Department Head (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Assessment of critical consciousness among individuals can provide a proxy measure of the readiness of communities, and individual decision-makers within, for social changes that address root causes of ill health. Critical consciousness, as conceived by Paolo Freire, emerges as a consequence of praxis. This iterative, recursive process of reflection and co-created knowledge enables community members to identify salient issues and the actions they want to take to address those issues. Public health and other social science researchers who engage in social- and population-level intervention work need a validated instrument that measures critical consciousness. Our purpose was to develop an instrument that can measure 4 key constructs of critical consciousness (passive adaptation, emotional engagement, cognitive awakening, and intentions to act) in an individual, relative to any salient community issue. We conducted two studies (Initial: June 2018; Retest: October 2019) to develop and validate this instrument. The same sampling strategy was used for both studies, but each study was conducted with a discrete cohort of participants. We used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to recruit and incentivize study participants. Data from the Initial study were used in an iterative process to evaluate construct validity and test our theoretical assumptions. Exploratory factor analyses were used to determine the best model fit that gave the greatest subscale reliability and validity. In the Retest study, confirmatory factor analysis was conducted and construct validity was verified. Our results indicated adequate construct validity as evidenced by good model fit. Additionally, the good fit of the data to the 4-factor structure confirmed our theoretical understanding of critical consciousness.

Additional Information

SSM-Population Health, 19.
Language: English
Date: 2022
Freire, Critical consciousness, Questionnaire, Community-based participatory research, Political ideology, Prosocial action

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