Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 50, No. 2 - 20

Design and Depression
Nicoll, 2007), and accessible communal kitchens (Kim et al., 2022) and food options
(Martinez et al., 2021) to promote cooking and healthy eating habits.
In the current study, we investigate if this new living-learning neighborhood influences
self-reported symptoms of depression in first-year college students, if gender
affects this relationship, and if different functional spaces (private residential spaces,
residential hall social spaces, campus social spaces) have different influences on students'
self-reported depression after taking their level of life satisfaction into account.
To that end, the following research questions were investigated:
RQ1. Is there a difference in the self-reported depressive symptoms of first-year residents
in two housing conditions, when controlling for life satisfaction?
The purpose of the first research question is to investigate if there is a difference between
first-year students who lived in the old residential facilities and those who lived
in the new neighborhood in terms of depression scores while accounting for levels of
life satisfaction.
RQ2. Does gender influence the relationship between living conditions and depression?
We include gender as a potential moderator to investigate whether a modern living-learning
neighborhood can provide a buffering effect for female students' transition
to college. If no moderating effect of gender was found, we planned to investigate
the main effect of gender, since past research has established that female college students
are at a higher risk for developing and experiencing depressive symptoms than
are male college students. See Figure 1 for the conceptual diagram of RQ2.
FIGURE 1
The Moderating Role of Gender in the Relationship Between Cohort
and Depression Level with Life Satisfaction as a Covariate
Gender
Physical Environment
(Cohort)
Depression
Life Satisfaction
Note. This diagram illustrates the conceptual model of a moderation analysis examining the effect of cohort
on depression level and the moderating role of gender, while controlling for the influence of life satisfaction
as a covariate.
Volume 50, No. 2 * 2024 17

Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 50, No. 2

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