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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Rural Sociology

First Advisor

Donald Arwood


This study investigates the factors associated with quitting or persisting in the role of Girl Scout Volunteer Leader(GSVL). After reviewing past literature and relevant theory, it was determined that a combination of sociological processes and conditions affect tenure. This study uses as its framework process role theory and symbolic interactionism to explain persistence in the Girl Scout Volunteer Leader role. A model is developed of tenure in the role of Girl Scout Volunteer Leader. It was found that GSVLs were more likely to remain as leaders if their self-images were merged with the role of GSVL. Self- role merger is found to be related to self-congruency, integration into Girl Scouting, investment in the role, satisfaction with self- oriented motives (affiliation, achievement, and power), and attachment with others in Girl Scouting. However, the strongest relationship to tenure is the Girl Scout status of the daughter. Most of the volunteers took on the role of Girl Scout leader because their own daughter was an active Girl Scout. By expanding her mother role into that of leader, GSVLs are able to overlap responsibilities, skills and knowledge. With the limited time most modern women have for leisure activities, combining family and volunteer status allowed the GSVL to maintain both. By using the Elaboration model to explore the relationship between self-role merger and tenure while applying daughter’s status in scouting, it became apparent that self- role merger is more important at the time the daughter quits scouting. The more self-role merger a volunteer has, the more likely that she will continue in her GSVL role even when her daughter is no longer a Girl Scout.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Scout leaders
Scout leaders -- Attitudes
Girls Scouts




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