ERIC Number: ED350501
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
The Determinants of Quality of Life on College Campuses.
Mandell, Charlotte; And Others
This study investigated the relationship between psychological sense of community and various personal and contextual factors (e.g., gender, race, major department and residence) at a public university in the eastern United States. Undergraduate students (N=2,047) responded to a questionnaire targeted to a student body of 10,500 that assessed demographics, sense of belonging, and departmental climate. The results suggested that students who differ from the norm, are newer to campus, and have fewer opportunities for interaction on campus are likely to experience less sense of belonging than their counterparts. Factors which enhance belonging are advanced student status, department unity, and department social activities. In a comparison of a predominantly female and a predominantly male department, the most striking finding is that both men and women students in the predominantly female department report a greater sense of belonging. When women students had the opportunity to associate with women faculty, they appeared to do so more than men. Colleges and universities have a responsibility to adapt their environments to include students of diverse backgrounds and life situations rather than expecting non-normative students to fit themselves into narrow or inaccessible settings that do not affirm who they are. The strong positive association between department unity and sense of belonging to the department point to the need for community building efforts at the departmental level as well as campus-wide. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (63rd, Boston, MA, April 3-5, 1992).