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Is Conformity a Mediating Variable on Increased Risk-Taking Behavior Across Years of Membership in the Greek System?

posted Jul 30, 2012, 5:49 AM by Sergiu Baltatescu   [ updated Aug 16, 2012, 4:44 PM ]

Chloë Elizabeth Lee-Zorn1, William Buhrow Jr.2 & Brett Vicario3

Journal of Social Research & Policy
Volume: 3, Issue: 1, pp. 
43-53.
Date: July 2012
ISSN: 2067-2640 (print), 2068-9861 (electronic)

Abstract: In the college subculture of Greek Life, members adhere to specific rules and norms in order to remain accepted, which could be indicative of conformity. This notion raises the question: what is the role of conformity on the risk taking behaviors of alcohol usage and sexual promiscuity as well as on the academic performance across years of membership?  The article examines conformity in 31 fraternity members, cross-sectionally, using a compressed longitudinal design and hypothesizes members develop lower levels of conformity after initiation, making them less susceptible to risk taking behaviors such as binge drinking, sexual promiscuity and decreased academic performance.  Surveys were administered in paper format, and results were evaluated using a series of analysis of variance equations. The results indicated an interaction effect between peer conformity (high, low) and alcoholic beverages consumed as well as a main effects for between peer involvement (high, low) and time on college GPA.

Keywords: Greek Life, Conformity, College, Alcohol, GPA

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