Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Dena R. Kniess


Self-esteem and leadership behaviors vary from individual to individual. Previous research indicates that multiple external factors influence self-esteem. Results of this study indicate that levels of self-esteem have the potential to influence leadership behaviors. This study utilized qualitative research practices to explore levels of self-esteem and leadership behaviors among female college student leaders. Six female undergraduate students at a public, four-year, midsized institution located in the Midwest were interviewed for this study. Participants included two sorority presidents, two registered student organization presidents, and two athletic captains. Results of this study indicate that self-esteem can be categorized into three areas: high, low, and varying. This study concluded that varying levels of self-esteem are influenced by both internal and external factors. The results of this study suggest that levels of self-esteem have a connection to leadership behaviors displayed by female student leaders.