Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Clovis White

Committee Member(s)

Veljko Vujacic, Chair
Daphne John
Aaron Howell
Richard Baldoz


Self-esteem, Well-being, College students, Group involvement, Extracurricular activities, Concerted cultivation, Natural child growth


The purpose of this study was to understand the impact of college students' engagement in formal group activities on self-esteem levels. Youth and adolescent extracurricular involvement was also taken into account to help determine influence on college participation. Hypotheses suggested that group affiliation would positively affect self-esteem and that extracurricularly motivated children would be more likely to join formal activities in college. A sample of 149 Oberlin College students completed a survey that included the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and nine of these subjects were selected for in-depth interviews. Both quantitative and qualitative data results indicated that formal group members’ self-esteem levels were not distinct from their non-group participant peers. Early group involvement, however, predicted later engagement, and athletic team membership during middle and high school often led to varsity athletic participation at Oberlin. The relationship between athletic team participation and self-esteem proved significant in the survey data, though interviewees’ self-esteem levels did not necessarily reflect higher trends.

Included in

Sociology Commons