Understanding Emotional Attachment to Group: A Replication & Extension of Paxton & Moody
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Paxton and Moody (2003) examined a naturally occurring group—a sorority from 1994—to see how network structure affects members’ emotional attachment to a group. In 2012, we replicate and extend this study on the same sorority. As Paxton and Moody did in their study, we use Bollen and Hoyle’s (1990) Perceived Cohesion Scale to measure emotional attachment, and we similarly measure the same explanatory variables: network measures, participation, and competition from other groups. Paxton and Moody found that being more central, having more cross-cutting ties between different subgroups, and participating in more social activities within the overall group increased emotional attachment. In contrast, we find that network measures do not hold significance in affecting emotional attachment when looking at all explanatory variables together. The significance in level of participation, however, still exists with respect to influencing emotional attachment. In our extension of Paxton and Moody’s study, we also address other factors that could affect members’ emotional attachment to group and include an online element. We find that other factors, i.e., sorority characteristics and other time commitments, affect sense of belonging and feeling of morale in one way or another. For our online element, we use information about members’ relations and behavioral interactions on the social network site, Facebook, to find that the network structure of sorority members who regularly interact with one another on Facebook is quite strongly correlated with the network structures created from the real-life relations.
DescriptionHonors Thesis Presented to the Duke University Sociology Department
Perceived Cohesion Scale
Theory of Relational Cohesion
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers