The Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1 - 88

Sam Chu * Elsie Li Chen Ong * Albert Chau * Robert Chung

and cognitive development, others paid more
attention to aspects such as persistence and retention, involvement with the university, and
personal growth. In general, students reap
more benefits from the experience of living
in residence halls rather than commuting
because the hall environment maximizes opportunities for interpersonal interaction and
involvement in the university, resulting in
higher graduation rates and personal development (Flowers, 2004; Yang & Chau, 2011).

BENEFITS OF LIVING ON
CAMPUS
In one of the earliest studies of the benefits for students of living on campus, Astin
(1999) explained that the opportunities residence hall communities created for students
to experience and participate in campus life
resulted in stronger attachment to and identification with their undergraduate life compared with off-campus commuters. As Astin's
student involvement theory postulates, the
amount of physical and psychological effort
students invest in the learning process is directly proportional to their academic gains
and personal development. By providing a
variety of intentional educational programs,
residence halls have the potential to engage
students actively in campus life and foster holistic development beyond classroom learning
(Chu et al., 2019).

Academic and Personal Development
Compared with off-campus commuters, residential students are more likely to persist and
graduate even when pre-college traits such
as past academic achievement, aptitude, and
family socioeconomic status are taken into
consideration (Braxton & McClendon, 2001;
88

Johnson et al., 2007; Peltier et al., 2000;
Upcraft et al., 2005). This is an important
area of research considering that community
within residential halls is all about human interaction and relationships.
Living on campus generally has beneficial
interpersonal outcomes for students. Compared with their commuter counterparts,
residential students were found to participate
more actively in extracurricular, social, and cultural activities (Arboleda et al., 2003); interact
more with faculty and peers; be more devoted
to their university (Engstrom & Tinto, 2007);
and show more openness to diversity (Pike,
2002). Exploring the experiences of students
in Hong Kong, Yang and Chau (2011) indicated
that students living on campus could improve
their interpersonal development and social
competence by developing interpersonal and
collaborative skills. However, this study did
not clarify which of these aspects was most affected by hall living experiences, and, overall,
the research has not yielded consistent results
on how students benefit most from residence
communities.

Impact of Interactions with Other
Residence Life Stakeholders
Some studies have examined the effect of interactions with other residents on social integration. For instance, Tinto (1993, 2005) posited
that students who were more socially and academically involved in their college generally
had higher rates of persistence and retention.
However, what these studies have not explored
is how student-peer and student-hall staff relationships affect college gains such as academic
success, social skill development, and personal
growth.

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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