Effects of consciousness-raising groups on measures of feminism, self-esteem, and social desirability

Diane R. Follingstad, Elizabeth A. Robinson, Marta Pugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


34 female undergraduates in 2 consciousness-raising groups were objectively assessed to determine whether changes relating to self-reported profeminist attitudes and behaviors and relating to self-esteem and social desirability would occur. 22 Ss were randomly assigned to either a 16-hr marathon group format or a 2-hr, 8-wk time-spaced group format. 12 additional Ss who took objective measures at the same time as 1 of the 2 groups acted as no-treatment controls. All experimental Ss significantly shifted toward more self-reported profeminist attitudes and behaviors both at posttesting and at follow-up. Two personality measures did not reveal any lasting changes. When compared with each other, Ss in the 2 time formats did not evidence any significant differences. When compared with control Ss, time-spaced Ss reported significantly more profeminist behavioral changes and an increase in self-esteem. Marathon Ss were significantly different from controls on a profeminist attitude measure (Attitudes Toward Women Scale). The purpose for which consciousness-raising groups have been formed was empirically supported by desired changes reported by Ss in relation to more profeminist attitudes and behaviors. Whether participation in consciousness-raising groups produces increases in self-esteem and decreases in the need for social approval is in need of further assessment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1977


  • consciousness raising groups, profeminist attitudes & behaviors & self esteem & social desirability, female college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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