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Powerlessness

Powerlessness is the perceived inability of a person, an institution, a society, or its constituent social, ethnic, or racial groups to effect change and influence salient outcomes. Orientations of this inability may evidence as internalized (as in sense of worth or shame), externalized (maintenance of a subordinate, aggressive role or status), or varying dimensions of both. To the extent that such orientations become a function of situational forces pertinent to a group's survival, particularly in multicultural and increasingly complex societies, or societies undergoing rapid change, they take on enormous implications for sociobehavioral health (e.g., delinquency, social withdrawal, etc.) and mental health (e.g., emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety). Individual risk factors integrate with macro-level influences to differentially influence aggregates of individuals (i.e., culture, race, ...

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