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

  • Averett, Susan L.


    (Lafayette College)

  • Terrizzi, Sabrina


    (Moravian College)

  • Wang, Yang


    (Lafayette College)

Registered author(s):

    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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    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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    1. Farley Grubb, 2006. "Does Greek Impair Undergraduate Academic Performance?," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(5), pages 1085-1110, November.
    2. DeSimone, Jeff, 2007. "Fraternity membership and binge drinking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 950-967, September.
    3. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053.
    4. Halliday, Timothy J. & Kwak, Sally, 2008. "Weight Gain in Adolescents and Their Peers," IZA Discussion Papers 3610, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. repec:oup:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:2:p:681-704 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Jeffrey S. DeSimone, 2006. "Fraternity Membership and Binge Drinking," NBER Working Papers 12468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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.
    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. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    12. 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.
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