The Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1 - 30

Benjamin R. Meagher

universities have devoted substantial resources
towards providing students with therapy and
counseling services.

. . . properties of students' physical

However, many researchers and practitioners argue that responses to the mental health
crisis should not be focused simply on the
treatment of disorders. As Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000) argue, psychology " concentrates on repairing damage within a disease
model of human functioning. This almost exclusive attention to pathology neglects the fulfilled individual and the thriving community "
(p. 5). In other words, a lack of mental illness
does not imply the presence of mental health,
so treatment alone will never be successful
in creating a happy and fulfilled population.
Instead, a eudaimonic approach to health emphasizes the need to actively promote, facilitate,
and support human flourishing (Ryan & Deci,
2001). Flourishing is characterized by positive
well-being across three broad life dimensions
(Keyes, 2002, 2007): emotional (positive affect
and life satisfaction), social (feelings of belonging and acceptance of others), and psychological (self-acceptance, purpose, and a sense
of personal growth). Based on this model of
mental health, institutions should prioritize
supporting students' positive attitudes, habits,
and experiences. Examples of eudaimonic programs implemented by colleges and universities include relaxation training techniques,
mindfulness-based stress reduction, and psychoeducation programs (Yusufov et al., 2019).

impact on their psychological

In addition to these intervention strategies,
some scholars have argued that the physical
design of the campus can also play an important role in student well-being (Godshall,
2000; Strange & Banning, 2001). For example,
the presence of physical spaces on campus
30

environment can have a critical
experience of college.

representative of a student's ethnic (Kirby et
al., 2020) or religious (Bilewicz & Klebaniuk,
2013) identity impacts feelings of belongingness and engagement. Moreover, many studies
have begun to demonstrate the varied psychological effects associated with differences in
the physical design of student housing (e.g.,
Bronkema & Bowman, 2017; Kaya & Weber,
2003; Mogenet & Rioux, 2014; Samura, 2016;
Verhetsel et al., 2017). Illustrative of this, students in housing that affords more frequent
social interactions (e.g., corridor-style versus
apartments) tend to have a greater sense of
community (Devlin et al., 2008) and more positive academic outcomes (Brown et al., 2019).
Thus, properties of students' physical environment can have a critical impact on their psychological experience of college.
Nevertheless, the importance of a student's
residence is based on more than just its architecture and amenities. Rather, it is the environment on campus that is distinctly the student's
own (Clemons et al., 2005; Dazkir, 2018).
Environmental psychologists have long been
interested in the consequences of this type of
person-environment relationship. First, the
concept of place attachment describes an individual's emotional bond to a physical setting
(Altman & Low, 1992; Scannell & Gifford,
2010). Places to which one is highly attached

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1

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