Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2 - 22

How Interactions Contribute to Thriving
LLCs have the potential to be a powerful environment . . . as they are linked
to a variety of positive success outcomes, such as academic achievement,
student engagement, retention, high application of critical thinking skills,
high commitment to civic engagement, and smoother social and academic
transitions to college.
of students to peers when residing together in LLCs reinforces friendships, but more so they
help students feel psychologically connected to others, which here manifests in high predictive
variance toward the social connectedness element of thriving.
The model explained 44% of the variance in diverse citizenship. Two pathways
moderately to strongly predict this relationship: academic interactions with staff
(β = .113) and deeper life interactions with peers (β = .218). Academic interactions with
staff can occur in LLCs through programs such as service-learning experiences, which
have been shown to increase students' plans of future civic action (Moely et al., 2002).
Previous studies have also validated how peer interaction can influence the development
of certain values, such as civic engagement (Astin, 1984; Gurin et al., 2002; Vreeland &
Bidwell, 1966). Although these findings cannot point specifically to a living environment
causing increases in diverse citizenship, they can point to the ways that abundant social
and academic interactions meaningfully contribute to this outcome, which are reinforced
by programs often present in LLCs.
Finally, the model explained 30% of the variance in the positive perspective factor. Deeper
life interactions with faculty and staff had a large effect (β = .461). The strength of this
predictor (the second strongest in the entire model) demonstrates that interactions beyond
the academic and social realms of the student experience are important for intrapersonal
and psychological thriving. 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. Interestingly,
deeper life interactions with peers had a small effect (β = .096). As deeper life interactions
with peers produced strong effects toward social connectedness, this finding demonstrates
the range of purposes that peer interactions have regarding different measures of success.
Additionally, this finding could indicate that students' relationships tend to grow stronger
over time, and the deeper they get in terms of content the stronger they get in terms of
feeling connected as opposed to feeling encouraged.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE
The findings of this study suggest a number of recommendations for practitioners in the
housing and residence life profession. First, we recommend that professionals strongly
encourage LLC participation amongst sophomore, junior, and senior students. Sriram,
Weintraub, et al. (2020) posit that college and university campuses can promote academic
interactions, social interactions, and deeper life interactions by creating environments that
facilitate meaningful exchanges with faculty, staff, and peers. LLCs have the potential to
be a powerful environment in this regard as they are linked to a variety of positive success
outcomes, such as academic achievement, student engagement, retention, high application
of critical thinking skills, high commitment to civic engagement, and smoother social and
22 The Journal of College and University Student Housing

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

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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