Self-Esteem Among Potential Greek Members: A Pre-Post Design
Chapman, Lauren Elizabeth
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Mental health is an important part of college studentsâ 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for two groups of Potential Members (PMs): those who complete recruitment (persistent PMs) and those who withdraw (withdrawn PMs).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 The persistent PMs experienced an increase in self-esteem; the withdrawn PMs experienced a drop in self-esteem. Also, there was a difference between the self-esteem levels of the two groups at the start of recruitment; the withdrawn PMs had a higher self-esteem than the persistent PMs.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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