Title page for ETD etd-04152007-225457

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Chapman, Lauren Elizabeth
Author's Email Address chapmanl@vt.edu
URN etd-04152007-225457
Title Self-Esteem Among Potential Greek Members: A Pre-Post Design
Degree Master of Arts
Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hirt, Joan B. Committee Chair
Janosik, Steven M. Committee Member
Spencer, Edward F. D. Committee Member
  • mental health
  • recruitment
  • Greek life
  • sororities
  • Self-esteem
Date of Defense 2007-04-10
Availability unrestricted
Mental health is an important part of college students’ experiences, and more administrators are paying attention to mental health issues (Cooper, 2000; Kitzrow, 2003). Self-esteem is central to mental health (Kittleson, 1989), and can be attributed to social situations, especially those that deal with rejection (Bednar, Wells, & Peterson, 1989; Caunt, 2003; Eisenberger & Lieberman, 2004; Steffenhagen & Burns, 1987). Sorority recruitment is an event that includes rejection (National Panhellenic Conference, n.d.), and may negatively affect self-esteem.

The purpose of this study was to determine how recruitment affects the self-esteem of participants. First, this study sought to determine if self-esteem changes during recruitment for two groups of Potential Members (PMs): those who complete recruitment (persistent PMs) and those who withdraw (withdrawn PMs). Second, this study investigated how self-esteem differed at the start and end of recruitment between these groups.

The sample included 336 potential sorority members at a large state institution. Data were collected by administering the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1979) twice: once before recruitment, and again when the PM either withdrew or completed the process.

The results of the study indicate a significant change in self-esteem during recruitment. The persistent PMs experienced an increase in self-esteem; the withdrawn PMs experienced a drop in self-esteem. Also, there was a difference between the self-esteem levels of the two groups at the start of recruitment; the withdrawn PMs had a higher self-esteem than the persistent PMs. There was no difference in self-esteem at the end of the recruitment process.

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