Date of Award

Summer 7-16-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Gabriel P. Kuperminc

Second Advisor

Lisa P. Armistead

Third Advisor

Kelly Lewis


Social capital and self-concept were measured in a sample of 86 primarily African American female adolescents before and after participating in the Cool Girls, Inc. program, and in 89 comparison girls. Two dimensions of social capital (the diversity of girls’ social networks and the number of life domains in which girls were able to access help) were examined. It was hypothesized that participation in Cool Girls would be associated with increases in social capital and that this would mediate the relationship between participation in Cool Girls and increases in self-concept. Cool Girls participants experienced increases in social capital. Cool Girls and comparisons both experienced gains in most domains of self-concept, except for behavioral conduct, that were related to increases in number of help domains. Furthermore, there was a significant indirect effect of participation on social acceptance, global self-worth, and body image mediated through number of help domains. Implications are discussed.