Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Ronald Riggio

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© 2013 Jessica H. Dang


The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between pre-college activity participation and college leadership through motivation to lead and leadership self-efficacy, paying particular attention to gender differences. Undergraduate students from a liberal arts college were recruited two separate times via email before freshman year and during the spring semester of their senior year. The findings of this study reveal that relations between pre-college activity participation and college leadership are not mediated by motivation to lead or leadership self-efficacy. Furthermore, the study found no significant gender differences related to motivation to lead or leadership self-efficacy. However, the findings of this study support previous claims that gender plays a strong role in activity participation (Buser, 1980; Kezar & Moriarty, 2000; Medley, 1982; Morris & Starrfield, 1982). In this study, females participated in high school activities significantly more than males, but males participated in college activities significantly more than females. Participants had more motivation to lead before attending college but no differences were found in their leadership self-efficacy between pre-college activity participation and college activity participation. In summary, this information could be useful for high schools and universities to increase the quality, not quantity, of out-of-class activities and further student engagement and leadership for both males and females.


Correspondence concerning this project should be addressed to Jessica Ho Dang, Department of Psychology, Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA 91711.

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