Research in Higher Education

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 117–139

The Influence of Fraternity or Sorority Membership on Students' College Experiences and Cognitive Development

  • Gary R. Pike

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007046513949

Cite this article as:
Pike, G.R. Research in Higher Education (2000) 41: 117. doi:10.1023/A:1007046513949


In recent years, the role of fraternities and sororities on college campuses has come under increasing scrutiny. Results of the National Study of Student Learning (NSSL) indicate that membership in a Greek organization can have a negative effect on students' cognitive development, particularly during the first year of college. The present research sought to assess the generalizability of the NSSL findings to first-year students attending a research university in the Midwest. In contrast to the NSSL findings, results indicated that Greek students had higher levels of involvement and gains in general abilities than did non-Greek students. Moreover, Greeks' gains in cognitive development were the result of their social involvement. Implications for the Greek system, as well as implications for the study of college effects, are discussed.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary R. Pike
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbia