Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services



Committee Director

Danica G. Hays

Committee Member

Alan Schwitzer

Committee Member

Rebecca E. Michel


Eating disorders have the capability of causing significant effects on a person's psychological and physical health. The average onset of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa is 19 and 20 years, respectively, making college students a vulnerable population (National Institute of Mental Health, n.d.). Female college students choosing to participate in Greek life are at an even greater risk for disordered eating (Basow, Foran, & Bookwala, 2007). Using semi-structured interviews and photography, this phenomenological study examined the overall experiences of 10 sorority members' lived experiences with various disordered eating behaviors as well as how these women perceived their sorority sisters' eating behaviors. The primary researcher collected data using individual interviews and photography. The results of this study identified two structural codes: sorority culture and influence, as well as nine textural codes. The findings of this study may be beneficial for college counselors working with this population to understand the sorority culture as well as the possible influences and pressure these women experience with respect to eating behaviors.


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