Publication Date

January 2015



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The function of brotherhood as an element of the fraternal experience has been largely ignored in the literature of higher education. This study seeks to understand how fraternity members define and conceptualize brotherhood and to develop an instrument aimed at quantitatively measuring notions of brotherhood. This mixed-methods study is divided into two parts: (1) Part 1 employs a grounded-theory, qualitative approach to understanding how fraternity members define and conceptualize brotherhood, and (2) Part 2 employs three separate quantitative studies aimed at developing and validating a measure of the concept of brotherhood in fraternities. The findings of the study indicate that fraternity membership elicits four distinct schema of brotherhood – solidarity, shared social experiences, belonging, and accountability. The Fraternal Brotherhood Questionnaire (FBQ) is developed to measure these four schemas. Initial exploratory factor analysis (EFA) reveals a four factor solution explaining 64 percent of the variance. A subsequent EFA of a modified version of the FBQ reveals a four factor solution explaining 67 percent of variance in the overall model. Confirmatory factor analysis reveals a parsimonious four factor model of fraternal brotherhood.