The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - 12

Amber D. Dumford, Amy K. Ribera, Angie L. Miller

(Berger & Milem, 1999; O'Keeffe, 2013; Read,
Archer, & Leathwood, 2003; Strayhorn, 2012;
Tinto, 2010).

Friends and social networks

A sense of belonging can be particularly important during students' transition
to college (O'Keeffe, 2013; Strayhorn, 2012).
Some studies found that students select and
stay at an institution because they feel like they
fit in with other students (Berger & Milem,
1999; Read et al., 2003). In addition, early peer
involvement strengthened perceptions of institutional and social support, which ultimately
led to increased persistence (Berger & Milem,
1999). Attending large universities often exacerbates emotional issues, like feelings of
isolation, which results in a reduced sense of
belonging, as students attending large universities can often be disoriented by the size
of their introductory classes and the physical
size of the university itself, making a stable
source of social support even more integral
during their transition into college life (Read
et al., 2003). Friends and social networks can
buffer against isolation, and students' living
arrangements are central to the development
of these relationships (Wilcox, Winn, & FyvieGauld, 2005).

students' living arrangements are

Given the impact that students' living
arrangements can have on their social networks, interactions, possibly their sense of
belonging on campus, and ultimately their
persistence, this study investigates the living
arrangements of college students and how
those can relate to their sense of belonging
and attachment on campus. For this study we
define sense of belonging with two dimensions: (a) students' connections with peers
(peer belonging) and (b) their feelings of acceptance from members of the institution
12

can buffer against isolation, and
central to the development of these
relationships.

such as faculty, administrators, and student
affairs professionals (institutional acceptance).
Most studies have operationalized sense of belonging as a single measure (e.g., Hurtado &
Carter, 1997; Ostrove & Long, 2007; Stebleton,
Soria, Huesman, & Torres, 2014; Strayhorn,
2008) defined roughly as the "psychological
dimension of student integration" (Hurtado,
Alvarado, & Guillermo-Wann, 2015, p. 62), but
a few have expanded this concept into a multidimensional measure (e.g., Freeman, Anderman, & Jensen, 2007; Hoffman, Richmond,
Morrow, & Salomone, 2002; Ribera, Miller,
& Dumford, 2017; Wilson et al., 2015). Utilizing a multidimensional approach has allowed
researchers to focus on specific areas of the
campus environment that need improvement.
For example, Ribera and colleagues (2017)
found lower levels of sense of belonging for
students of color when compared to their
White counterparts when exploring a peer dimension of sense of belonging, but the same
result was not found in another facet focusing
on institutional aspects. In this study, taking a
multidimensional approach allowed us to look
at the effects of housing arrangements on peer
belonging more holistically.
Relationships with other students can
serve as the foundation for students' sense
of belonging, which in turn can lead to

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - Intro
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - Cover1
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