The influence of masculine role norms and gender-role stress on the likelihood a first-year college male will become involved in the student conduct process is addressed in this investigation. Furthermore, the causes of policy violation, identity development, and social identity construction are explored.
Quantitative and qualitative methods were employed to examine the adherence to masculine role norms and experience of gender-role stress by first-year male students enrolled at a public research university. In this prospective study, data were collected in two phases. Phase One entailed completion of two masculinities-related scales and a demographics questionnaire by 429 participants, then the collection of student conduct outcomes at year's end. Phase Two consisted of face-to-face semi-structured individual interviews with 10 men.
Theories of hegemonic masculinity, gender socialization, identity development, emerging adulthood, and social identity influenced both methodological design and execution of this investigation. Analysis of the quantitative data did not provide support for the hypothesis that social norms and gender-role stress increased the likelihood of involvement in the student conduct process. However, elevated interest in athletics and fraternities were both instrumental factors in an increase in the likelihood of the participants' involvement in the student conduct process. Analysis of the qualitative data produced three sub-themes--pre-college socialization, individual identity development, and social identity development--to explain the causes of misconduct. These sub-themes allowed for a nuanced explanation of the quantitative findings.
Pre-college socialization was of considerable importance to the establishment of the types of masculinity participants presented. Conceptions of masculinity were found to be significant in the identity development of the participants, which influenced their behaviors and the social groups with which they sought involvement. Those with the most involvement in Greek life and athletics presented the most dominant forms of masculinity and examples of misconduct.
Findings from this study can support practitioners who work with male students, especially in the areas of student affairs, student conduct, athletics, and Greek life. Insights from this investigation may be applicable to both high school and college students throughout their academic career. Recommendation for practice and implications for future research are proposed.