The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2 - 55

Chris Heasley * Katie Boone * Denise L. Davidson

beyond. Of the twelve, six resided in a campus
residence and six lived in P3 housing. Eight students were from Western University and four
from Eastern. Participation in the quantitative
and qualitative studies was voluntary and required informed consent. The facilitator gained
permission to audio record focus group discussions to complete a verbatim transcription
(Kvale & Brinkmann, 2008) for later analysis.

Quantitative Instrumentation
The Sense of Community Index version 2
(SCI-2) was utilized to measure the SOC
paradigm (Chavis, Lee, & Acosta, 2008) and
consisted of 24 items corresponding to four
subscales: membership, influence, reinforcement of needs, and shared emotional connection
(Chavis et al., 2008). Participants responded
using a 4-point rating scale (1 = not at all, 4
= completely). Items represented statements
such as "Community members and I value
the same things" and "Being a member of this
community is a part of my identity."
The validity and reliability of evidence for
the SCI-2 are strong. Cronbach's alpha is .94.
Subscales also prove reliable, with coefficient
alpha scores of .79 to .86 (Chavis et al., 2008).
Utilization of the McMillan and Chavis (1986)
SOC theoretical framework enhanced external
validity, as reliance on analytical generalizations reflected results of the broader theory
(Glesne, 2006). To this end, the use of SOC
as a supportive lens helped establish themes to
which this study's findings were applied (McMillan & Chavis, 1986).

Qualitative Focus Groups
A semi-structured interview guide was used to
collect qualitative information (Kvale & Brinkmann, 2008). To improve reliability and limit
research team bias and positionality, the guide
54

Students' Sense of Community

aligned questions to explore the four elements
of the SOC framework (Kvale & Brinkmann,
2008). The guide included a script for initial
briefing, relevant questions, and the post-interview briefing. Focus group questions were
crafted to achieve the four broad criteria necessary for effective data collection: range, specificity, depth, and personal context (Merton,
Fiske, & Kendall, 1990). Quantitative findings
informed the development of focus group
questions, which led to asking why students
chose their selected housing (querying for the
factors that may influence or detract from community development), the type of community
their housing offered and nurtured (seeking information on association type), and how community was formed for them (understanding
formation of community relative to housing
type). Questions on the interview guide included "How would you describe the SOC for
your housing?" and "What characteristics have
added to the SOC within your housing?" The
researchers asked additional probing questions, where appropriate, to further elicit narratives from participants. For example, after
asking "What do you like most about being in
your current housing?" additional questions
were asked to explore the relevance of specific
factors such as friendship, academic support,
social opportunities, and peer influence. From
the narratives collected, the research team developed analytical findings based on converging patterns and themes (Bogdan & Biklen,
2007; Glesne, 2006; Morgan, 1997).

Data Analysis
SPSS software was used to generate descriptive
and inferential statistics in the form of t-tests for
independent samples (i.e., aggregate campus
residence students versus P3 residents) and re-

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING

Brinkmann, 2008). NVivo coding was used by
the research team as a tool to analyze qualitative information.

gression procedures. Parametric analysis generated data for the four subscales of the SCI-2
to determine whether differences exist in SOC
outcomes among students between accommodation types for both institutions involved in
this study. Multiple regressions were explored
to determine the influence of institutional type
in predicting SOC outcomes. However, during
preliminary regression analysis, multicollinearity, or a substantial degree of accuracy in
linear predictability of one predictor variable in
relation to others, existed among independent
SOC subscale variables. The presence of this
phenomenon contributed to an unfit model for
further regression analysis.

RESULTS
Results from the two-stage data collection
methodology (Creswell et al., 2003) provide
scholarly contributions regarding SOC differences among students in campus residences
and P3 housing.

Quantitative Results
Quantitative analysis was conducted to determine whether students have different levels of
SOC outcomes based on their lived experiences
in campus residences or P3 housing. Campus
residence type was used as the independent
categorical variable in calculating whether statistically significant differences were present
across the four SOC subscales. As detailed
in Table 3, there was a significant difference
in SCI-2 influence subscale scores for campus
residences (M = 13.46, SD = 4.09) and P3
housing (M = 12.67, SD = 3.89); t(533) = 1.94, p <

Kvale and Brinkmann's (2008) analysis of
meaning and language was applied to focus
group information. Rephrasing long statements into smaller units of meaning by ascertaining the natural meaning units within
the participant narratives take place in this
process. As unique themes surfaced, they were
linked together to formulate a complete description of participants' experiences (Kvale &

	 Table 3
	 Independent Samples t-Test Mean Comparison of Sense of Community for Students in
	 Campus Residences and P3 Housing
Campus residence	
P3 housing
			
					
			
	
	 Sense of community element	
N	
M	SD	
N	M	SD	 df	 t	
Sig.	
Eta-				
											
(2-tailed)*	 squared
	Membership		

122	

12.48	 4.15	

415	

12.10	

3.73	

535	

.943	 0.35	 0.04

	Influence		

121	

13.46	 4.09	 414	

12.67	

3.89	 533	

1.94	

0.05	 0.08

	 Reinforcement of needs	

122	

15.48	

4.43	

416	

16.09	

4.02	

536	

-1.44	

0.15	

0.06

	 Shared emotional connection	

122	

12.84	

4.73	

414	

13.15	

4.34	

534	

-0.67	

0.50	

0.03

	 Note. *p = .05

V O L U M E 4 6 , NO. 2 * 2 0 2 0

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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2

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Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2 - Intro
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