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This study is also limited by excluding demographic characteristics in the analytic
procedures. Although it allowed the final model to be more parsimonious, the hypothesized
model did not account for conditional effects beyond student classification.
Additionally, males were underrepresented (29.6%) compared to females, and White
students were overrepresented (58.7%) compared to students of color. Consideration
of how various demographic characteristics interact with the variables used may offer
a further understanding of how interactions influence thriving. For example, future research
might explore how students of color experience interactions that drive success.
Nonetheless, the current study contributes to a general understanding of interactions
and success for LLC students, which is valuable to researchers and practitioners.
DISCUSSION OF KEY FINDINGS
The model developed from this study explained 53% of the variance in engaged learning.
Deeper life interactions with faculty and staff demonstrated the strongest effects
on this factor (β = .200), which indicated that these connections can lead students to
feel energized by their classes, to apply coursework to other areas of life, and to reflect
on their classes even when they are not in class (Schreiner & Louis, 2006). Academic
interactions with faculty also had a strong effect (β = .197) on participants' engaged
learning.
The model also explained 52% of the variance in academic determination. Students
who are academically determined embody the attitudes and behaviors that empower
them to persevere through difficult academic situations and endure challenges
associated with attaining academic goals (Schreiner, 2010b). Deeper life interactions
with faculty and staff had a moderate effect (β = .140). One of the central elements of
this factor is the concept of hope (Schreiner, 2013). As students exhibiting high levels
of hope believe they can and will accomplish their goals and discern what strategies
can help them get there (Papantoniou et al., 2013), deeper life interactions, such as
conversations about students' values, can spur the hope that drives students toward
achieving academically. Academic interactions with staff were also a strong predictor
(β = .199) of academic determination. This finding confirms previous studies that
highlight the academic value of LLCs in regard to the proximity of staff support and
resources (Inkelas et al., 2018). In the context of LLCs, this often occurs through hall
directors or program directors engaging in frequent student interaction, advising, or
even general encouragement in a student's educational journey.
The social connectedness construct also had a high percentage of variance (45%)
explained by the model. The pathway from deeper life interactions with peers to social
connectedness was the strongest single predictor (β = .490) in the model. Social interactions
with peers also had a strong effect (β = .218) on social connectedness. The nearness
Having an optimistic perspective on life or being able to look for the best
in situations when things seem hopeless stems from conversations with faculty
and staff that go deeper and address matters of meaning, value, and purpose.
Volume 48, No. 2 * 2022 21

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2

Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2 - intro
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