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The Effect of Sorority Membership on Eating Disorders and Body Mass Index

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Author Info

  • Averett, Susan L.

    ()
    (Lafayette College)

  • Terrizzi, Sabrina

    ()
    (Moravian College)

  • Wang, Yang

    ()
    (Lafayette College)

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    Abstract

    Eating disorders affect 12-25% of college women. Previous research established a positive correlation between sorority membership and eating disorders. We investigate a possible causal link between sororities and weight-related behaviors and eating disorders using data from the American College Health Association. Using Propensity Score Matching and Instrumental Variable methods, we confirm that sororities exert a negative effect on the weight-related behaviors of their members. However, females who are more resilient to these outcomes self-select into sororities, implying that females in sororities are less adversely affected by them than a female who was randomly selected to join a sorority would be.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7512.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7512

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    Related research

    Keywords: obesity; underweight; BMI; sorority; anorexia; bulimia; eating disorders; weight control;

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    1. DeSimone, Jeff, 2007. "Fraternity membership and binge drinking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 950-967, September.
    2. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects With Random Assignment: Results For Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704, May.
    3. Yakusheva, Olga & Kapinos, Kandice & Weiss, Marianne, 2011. "Peer effects and the Freshman 15: Evidence from a natural experiment," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 119-132, March.
    4. Jeffrey S. DeSimone, 2006. "Fraternity Membership and Binge Drinking," NBER Working Papers 12468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Forste, Renata & Moore, Erin, 2012. "Adolescent obesity and life satisfaction: Perceptions of self, peers, family, and school," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 385-394.
    6. Rejesus, Roderick M. & Palis, Florencia G. & Rodriguez, Divina Gracia P. & Lampayan, Ruben M. & Bouman, Bas A.M., 2011. "Impact of the alternate wetting and drying (AWD) water-saving irrigation technique: Evidence from rice producers in the Philippines," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 280-288, April.
    7. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    8. Farley Grubb, 2006. "Does Greek Impair Undergraduate Academic Performance?," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(5), pages 1085-1110, November.
    9. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2008. "Using Selection on Observed Variables to Assess Bias from Unobservables When Evaluating Swan-Ganz Catheterization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 345-50, May.
    10. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2000. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," NBER Working Papers 7831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Halliday, Timothy J. & Kwak, Sally, 2009. "Weight gain in adolescents and their peers," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 181-190, July.
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