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Membership is broadly defined as boundaries delineating who does and does not
belong within the community association
(McMillan & Chavis, 1986); commitment
to one another provides an emotional vulnerability leading to community investment
(Chavis et al., 2008). Influence involves a
sense of mattering and is defined by a reciprocal relationship in which an individual
contributes to the overall well-being of the
community and, in turn, receives valuable
supports from other members (Chavis et al.,
1986; Heasley et al., 2020). Reinforcement
through the integration and fulfillment of
needs, a cornerstone to behavioral research,
emphasizes community togetherness by
serving as a motivator for desired behavior.
Integration and fulfillment of needs involves measurable outcomes such as status,
competence, and shared values to achieving community devotedness (Chavis et al.,
2008; Heasley et al., 2020). Shared emotional connection is the belief that a shared history, space, togetherness, and experiences will
develop and enhance an obligation to the
membership (McMillan & Chavis, 1986).
Associations are strengthened by events
that offer individual and communal opportunities for emotional investment. Working
singularly or in concert, these elements can
enhance connectedness to others (Heasley
et al., 2020).

METHOD
Methods used to analyze differences of the
main and interactive effects of independent
variables (gender and floor plan design) on
sense of community are the focus of this
study. Differences in outcomes are investigated for undergraduate students enrolled at
an urban faith-based university in the northeastern region of the United States. The central research question is What are the differ-

ences in students' SOC based on student housing
type and gender? Answering this involves investigating three related questions: Are SOC
outcomes differentiated by student housing type?
How does gender influence SOC? and What are
the main and interactive effects of student housing type and gender on students' SOC?
	
Specific to this study, the first independent variable was student housing type,
which was subcategorized into three basic
hall configurations (corridor-style, suitestyle, and campus house). In corridor-style
housing, 25-30 double-occupancy rooms
open directly off of a double-loaded corridor,
with rooms directly across from one another down the length of the hallway. Residents
share community bathrooms and, in some
cases, small lounge areas. Suite-style housing is arranged in a cluster form, with four
to eight double-occupancy rooms opening
off of a single hallway. Within suite arrangements, students share a common living
area and bathroom facility. In single-gender
campus houses, each student room offers a
unique layout. As converted single-family
homes, campus houses offer a myriad of
room configurations with varied occupancy.
Some are private, single-occupancy spaces,
while others may be shared by four students. The total occupancy for a campus
house ranges from 15 to 40 students, which
is considerably smaller than the 350+ person
capacities associated with the other two
housing types in this study.
	
Gender identity was the second independent variable in this study. On the survey instrument participants were given four
choices for gender identity: woman, man,
gender non-binary, and other. Based on low
participant selection of non-binary (n = 1)
and other (n = 0) categories, only binary gender selections were used in study analysis.

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