Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 2 - 79

Community Association

with SOC within student housing settings,
suggesting that residence hall design must
also be considered.

Influence of Hall Design
Hall design matters. Significant main effects
for SOC, when grouping participants by hall
design type, validate the efforts of past scholars who explored hall type influences on student outcomes (Brandon et al., 2008; Devlin
et al., 2008; Heasley et al., 2020; Hill et al.,
1999). Often researchers sought a response
to the following question: Is there a residence
hall design type that definitively offers higher SOC outcomes? Attempts at responding
to this inquiry began nearly 50 years ago, by
scholars who sought to bring greater clarity to
the interactive role of student housing design
and environmental effects (Baum et al., 1975;
Corbett, 1973). This study adds to this growing field of work by updating findings from
those of 50 years prior.
	
Findings from this study reaffirm higher SOC scores in relation to factors that lead
to enhanced student engagement in group
activities and social interactions. Despite differences among elements of SOC in student
outcomes based on residence hall type as
noted in this study and among other past researchers, as a collective whole, design plays
a significant role in influencing the social
climate of college and university residential
environments (Baum et al., 1975; Corbett,
1973; Devlin et al., 2008; Wilcox & Holahan,
1976). Previous scholars confirm that architectural decisions with relation to open space
access, individual privacy, and proximity to

hall resources and amenities matter for student residents. Results from this study's analysis reveal that student engagement in group
activities and social interactions is favorably
associated with opportunities for communal
association. Even more so, differences in
SOC, as reported by residents of varying residence hall design types, seem to be substantiated and perhaps exacerbated when viewed
through the complex identity of gender.

Interaction Effect of Hall Design
and Gender Identity
Although researchers of the 1970s concluded that corridor-style accommodations were
inferior to more open design concepts such
as suite-style housing (Baum et al., 1975;
Corbett, 1973), results from the present
study suggest a change in this experience,
especially for women. Of notable importance, sense of community among women
was higher across all six subscales in campus house accommodations (Figure 1). In
stark contrast, men reported higher SOC development in suite-style halls. Corridor-style
hall design presented a mixed response, with
only shared emotional connection (SEC) and
emotional support (ESP) experiences higher
among women. Further investigation of gender differences in SOC formation in corridor-style hall living seems appropriate given
these findings. Yet the statistically significant
results of the interaction effects of residence
design type and gender on SOC reported in
this study aid in understanding how bedroom privacy and the sharing of common
space in suite-style hall design may lead to

. . . design plays a significant role in influencing the social climate
of college and university residential environments. . . . [and] architectural
decisions with relation to open space access, individual privacy,
and proximity to hall resources and amenities matter for student residents.
76

The Journal of College and University Student Housing



Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 2

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