The Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1 - 95

Impact of Relationships with Hall Mates, Tutors, and Wardens

Impact of Interactions with Other
Residence Life Stakeholders on Personal
Development
A comparison of personal development aspects
revealed that the top five were becoming more
aware of their own strengths and weaknesses
(M = 3.95, SD = 0.748), seeing things from
different perspectives (M = 3.91, SD = 0.712),
being more confident when put in a new situation (M = 3.86, SD = 0.778) or tackling unfamiliar problems (M = 3.83, SD = 0.753), and
developing skills for lifelong learning (M =
3.82, SD = 0.741; see Table 4). These were also
the aspects most correlated with relationships
with hall mates. Nevertheless, all measures of
personal development correlated significantly
with the relationship with wardens, tutors, and
hall mates (all p < .001). Supporting the quantitative data, many students also expressed
that taking up leadership roles had positively
enhanced their confidence, time management
skills, and their ability to tackle problems.
Themes and sub-themes generated from
the transcriptions of interviewees with some
example references are included in Table 5.

DISCUSSION
A number of empirical studies have underscored
the importance of the residential experience
in enhancing student learning and improving
undergraduate education (Flowers, 2004; Yang
& Chau, 2011). It is now clear that a residence
hall is not only a place for accommodation, but
also crucial in developing social interaction and
impacting students' university experience. The
current study sought to extend these findings
by taking into account the relationships between
students and hall mates and staffs. The study also
examined how these relationships may impact

academic performance, interpersonal outcomes,
and personal development.
Students reported that the greatest impact
was on interpersonal outcomes and that they
had improved social communication skills and
were more aware of other people's feelings following their residential experience. Expanding
on previous research (Pascarella & Terenzini,
2016), the results consistently showed that

. . . living under the same roof
with people of different ages and
cultural backgrounds provided a
diversity and openness that helped
them expand their perspective and
view things from different angles,
supporting earlier findings that
students involved in a collective
community tended to be more open
to different opinions and were more
tolerant of alternative viewpoints.

close rapport with hall mates might be related
to these gains, although the influence of good
relationships with hall staff had less impact.
Participants consistently reported that, following their hall experience, they had become more
capable of expressing their thoughts to others,
more skillful at interacting, and more conscious
of other people's thoughts and feelings. This is
consistent with previous research findings that
residential students demonstrated higher gains
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Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1

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