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Student Perceptions of Independent Living Skills Development as a Result of the Residence Hall Experience

This mixed-methods case study examined how students perceive their development of independent living skills as a result of the residence hall experience. Using Astin’s (1993) Inputs-Environment-Outputs (I-E-O) framework to establish research methodology and analyze data, this study highlighted the significance of students living with and among their peers in shared living space. Sharing living spaces with peers is a key contributor to developing interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. Students expressed the importance of the residence hall experience during their first year and highlighted the relationship with their Resident Assistant as the most significant residence hall intervention strategy. Upperclassmen students discussed needing and wanting different and even fewer points of contact with residence hall staff, resources, and programs. Lastly, residence hall leadership positions (Resident Assistant and Hall Government involvement) were noted as significant contributors to developing independent living skills associated with interacting with others. Findings will inform adjustments to the Resident Assistant role in upperclassmen living areas and help address specific learning strategies that students shared some helpful perspective and insight regarding their effectiveness (e.g., roommate agreement). This study established a productive research framework that will support future research regarding the residence hall experience.  


Committee Members:  Dr. Brad Curs (Chair), Dr. Jennifer Fellabaum-Toston, Dr. Cassandra Harper Morris, Dr. Tyler Page

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