Publication Date

August 2008



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Mental health issues among college students are of increasing concern to administrators (Kitzrow, 2003). Self-esteem is a concept central to mental health (Kittleson, 1989) and can be linked to the social situations found in college settings, especially those that deal with rejection (Caunt, 2003; Eisenberger & Lieberman, 2004; Steffenhagen & Burns, 1987). Sorority recruitment is a process that can include rejection (National Panhellenic Conference, n.d.) and, thus, may negatively affect self-esteem. The purpose of this study was to determine how the sorority recruitment experience affects the self-esteem of participants. First, we explored whether self-esteem differed between two groups of potential members (PMs): those who completed recruitment (persistent PMs) and those who withdrew from the recruitment process (withdrawn PMs). Second, we examined how self-esteem differed at the start and the end of recruitment within these groups of PMs. Results revealed significant differences between groups and suggested a relationship between recruitment and self-esteem.