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

Author

Listed:
  • Averett, Susan L.

    () (Lafayette College)

  • Terrizzi, Sabrina

    () (Moravian College)

  • Wang, Yang

    () (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Averett, Susan L. & Terrizzi, Sabrina & Wang, Yang, 2013. "The Effect of Sorority Membership on Eating Disorders and Body Mass Index," IZA Discussion Papers 7512, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7512
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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