Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Women college students-Psychology, Greek letter societies-Psychological aspects, Self-esteem in women, Stigma (Social psychology), Mental health services-Utilization, Collective self-esteem, College, Sorority, Help-seeking, Stigma, Mental health, Women college students-Mental health


Although researchers are aware of the fact that public and group stigma affect mental health help-seeking behavior, there has been no research on level of collective self-esteem and stigma within specific social networks related to members' attitudes toward seeking mental health services. This study aimed to identify a relationship between sorority women's collective self-esteem, or how much they value their membership in the sorority, and their perceived stigma from their fellow sorority members on their overall attitudes toward seeking mental health services. Fifty-one sorority women between the ages of 18-24 self-selected to participate in an online survey composed of three empirically validated measures: Collective Self-Esteem Scale- Revised, Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale-Short Form, and the Perception of Stigmatization by Others for Seeking Help scale in addition to demographic data. The results of the current study, based on a population of sorority women, were reflective of existing literature and research conducted with the general population regarding attitudes toward seeking mental health services. There was a significant relationship between members' attitudes toward seeking mental health services and their current mental health status, and a significant relationship between past and present experiences with mental health services and attitudes toward seeking mental health services. There was also a significant correlation between collective self-esteem (CSES-R) and perception of stigmatization from others for seeking mental health services (PSOSH). The results of this study may spur an interest in research on sorority women, an understudied unique social group, and their mental health concerns and help-seeking behavior.




iv, 77 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2010. Includes bibliographical references (p. 58-65)