The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - 54

Zachary R. Blackmon, Robert M. O'Hara, Jordan W. Viars

a model of minority stress that not only do
various minority identities work together to
inform a person's overall experience, those
identities also serve as "important effect modifiers" for stress (p. 678). Conversely, Vaccaro
and Newman (2016) looked at the development of sense of belonging between majority and minority students at a predominantly
white institution (PWI). They found stark differences between privileged and minority
students' conceptualization of belonging and
the meaning drawn from it. Examining this
emerging research with the current study in
mind, it becomes clearer that students' LGBQ
identities may or may not moderate various
forms of harassment.

LIMITATIONS
This study connects sense of belonging to perceptions of being targeted with microaggressions based on individuals' sexual identities
within the residential context. The study also
illustrated inherent difficulties in performing this type of scholarship. These difficulties include sampling, instrumentation, and
defining terms/concepts. Sampling, particularly among marginalized groups, is often a
study limitation (Sullivan & Losberg, 2003).
To address that limitation, snowball sampling
was used to reach the largest number of participants possible, but in doing so individuals
who were more open with their identities may
have been more likely to be included.
In terms of instrumentation, this study was
the first use of the PSUM (Alkan, 2016) in the
United States. While the overall scale held up
in terms of reliability, there were concerns at
the subscale level which prevented considering
which aspects of sense of belonging may have
54

been more or less impacted by microaggressions. Additionally, there were several survey
errors which prevented additional analyses
around age, gender/gender expression, and referral sources. Finally, from a data perspective,
the current study was based on self-reported
data and also had to address missing and/or
complex data.

IMPLICATIONS
Research
The current study provides a model for studying not only the prevalence or frequency of
LGBQ microaggressions but also the influence
of those microaggressions on an outcome,
sense of belonging, within the residential
context. The microaggressions subscales only
accounted for a small percentage (8-10%) of
the variance in sense of belonging (Blackmon,
2018). Further research is needed to consider
what other predictors of sense of belonging
may be in order to consider fully how practitioners can best aid in fostering it.
Future studies should also seek to make
results more generalizable. This could be
pursued through the inclusion of trans- and
queer spectrum students, heterosexual comparison groups, and the inclusion of faculty and
staff. Additionally, future studies are needed
to confirm or challenge the findings from the
current study and add to the depth of understanding of sexual identity development. Focus
should be given to whether sexual identity development moderates the impact of hostile climates or experiences on student outcomes, and
perhaps whether sexual identity itself is a moderator. The need to operationalize concepts in a
consistent way across the literature is a significant barrier to this type of research.

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - Intro
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