Belonging and Well-being in the Context of Sorority Recruitment

$1,266
Raised
115%
Funded on 11/04/13
Successfully Funded
  • $1,266
    pledged
  • 115%
    funded
  • Funded
    on 11/04/13

About This Project

Little research has examined how social exclusion in college affects the well-being and adjustment of young adults. My research aims to address this issue by using the sorority recruitment process to study the direct impact of rejection on college students' well-being.

If you can remember how much you wanted to fit in when you first got to
college, you can understand how important this research is. Even a dollar will help!

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What is the context of this research?

This project examines how participation in the sorority recruitment process affects young women's well-being in both the short and long term. Belonging is a fundamental human need, and threats to belonging (i.e. rejection) prompt an immediate distress response and can lead to temporary decreases in self-esteem and mood (Leary, Tambor, Terdal & Downs, 1995). The sorority recruitment process offers a unique opportunity to study the effects of belonging and rejection on psychological well-being in a real and meaningful context.

Furthermore, we can assess the more long-term effects of rejection and acceptance on well-being by measuring women's well-being 3 months after the recruitment process ends.

What is the significance of this project?

This research is an important first step in understanding the benefits and drawbacks of participating in recruitment, which can ultimately inform the development of programs to help women cope with a negative experience.

As a social psychologist, I am interested in studying this process because there is very little research on intense rejection and belonging experiences in college, and even less research on the effects of these experiences over time. While this research will give us direct insight into how sorority recruitment and membership affects women, it will more broadly give us a better sense of the extent to which intense, meaningful rejection and belonging experiences impact well-being.

What are the goals of the project?

The funding obtained on this site is crucial to the success of this research and will go towards incentivizing participants to take part in the study. Freshman women participating in recruitment at a Southern college will receive an email prior to the start of recruitment (which takes place in January) inviting them to take part in the study. They will be told that if they participate in the study, which consists of three short surveys for them to complete over the next three months, they will receive monetary compensation.(see sample items from the survey below). If we meet the Microryza goal of $1100, I will be able to offer each participant $10 for completing all 3 brief online surveys.

Budget

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Compensating participants for their time participating in the study. All freshman women participating in recruitment will receive an email inviting them to participate in the study- their incentive will be $10 for the completion of all 3 surveys.

Meet the Team

Julie Martin
Julie Martin
Graduate Student

Affiliates

Duke University
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Team Bio

I am currently in my second year of Duke University's Social Psychology PhD program. Under the guidance of Dr. Laura Smart Richman, I study the effects of rejection on psychological well-being and prosocial behavior, as well as the strategies that people implement to cope with rejection. More broadly, I am interested in human beings' pervasive need to belong and how this need affects our thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at jlm107@duke.edu .

Julie Martin

I am currently in my second year of Duke University's Social Psychology PhD program. Under the guidance of Dr. Laura Smart Richman, I study the effects of rejection on psychological well-being and prosocial behavior, as well as the strategies that people implement to cope with rejection. More broadly, I am interested in human beings' pervasive need to belong and how this need affects our thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at jlm107@duke.edu .

Additional Information

Below are sample items from a few of the well-being scales. These are well-validated rating scales with various anchors such as strongly agree, strongly disagree:

Belonging- Please rate the extent to which you agree and disagree with each statement:

  • "I feel like I belong at this school"
  • "It's hard for me to fit in here (reverse coded)"

Depression- How often have you felt this way in the past week:

  • "I felt that I could not shake off the blues even with help from my family or friends"
  • "I thought my life had been a failure"

These are just a few of the scales from the survey.


Project Backers

  • 26Backers
  • 115%Funded
  • $1,266Total Donations
  • $48.69Average Donation
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