Social Coping and Environmental Satisfaction in a University Megadorm

  • Charles J. Holahan
Part of the The Plenum Social Ecology Series book series (PSES)


Pressed by the demands of both restricted funds and limited space, university planners have demonstrated an increasing proclivity toward viewing the high-rise megadorm as a ready solution for students’ residential housing needs. This decision is particularly disturbing as a number of recent research studies concerned with quality of life in student residential environments have reported reduced satisfaction with the living environment and social atmosphere in high-rise megadorms in contrast to low-rise dormitory settings. Some findings have, for example, pointed to less positive social behavior and group cooperation (Bickman, Teger, Gabriele, McLaughlin, Berger, & Sunaday, 1973) in high- as opposed to low-rise student housing. In addition, crowding in dormitory settings has been shown to relate to increased stress along with decreased social contact (Valins & Baum, 1973), more negative ratings of living space (Eoyang, 1974), and more negative interpersonal attitudes (Baron, Mandel, Adams, & Griffen, 1976).


Social Competence Residential Life Friendship Network Residence Hall Competent Student 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baron, R. M., Mandel, D. R., Adams, C. A., & Griffen, L. M. Effects of social density in university residential environments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1976, 34, 434–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bern, D. J., & Allen, A. On predicting some of the people some of the time: The search for cross-situational consistencies in behavior. Psychological Review, 1974, 81, 506–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bickman, L., Teger, A., Gabriele, T., McLaughlin, C., Berger, M., & Sunaday, E., Dormitory density and helping behavior. Environment and Behavior, 1973, 5, 465–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chickering, A. W. Education and identity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1972.Google Scholar
  5. Ekehammar, B. Interactionism in personality from a historical perspective. Psychological Bulletin, 1974, 81, 1026–1048.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Endler, N. S., & Hunt, J. McV. Sources of behavioral variance as measured by the S-R inventory of anxiousness. Psychological Bulletin, 1966, 65, 336–346.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Endler, N. S., & Hunt, J. McV. S-R inventories of hostility and comparisons of the proportions of variance from persons, responses and situations for hostility and anxiousness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1968, 9, 114–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Endler, N. S., & Hunt, J. McV. Generalizability of contributions from sources of variance in the S-R inventories of anxiousness. Journal of Personality, 1969, 37, 1–24.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eoyang, C. K. Effects of group size and privacy in residential crowding. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1974, 30, 389–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Feldman, K., & Newcomb, T. M. The impact of college on students Vols. 1 & 2. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1969.Google Scholar
  11. Gough, H. G. California Personality Inventory: Manual. Palo Alto: Consulting Psychologists’ Press, 1964.Google Scholar
  12. Heilweil, M. The influence of dormitory architecture on resident behavior. Environment and Behavior, 1973, 5, 377–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Helmreich, R., & Stapp, J. Short forms of the Texas Social Behavior Inventory (TSBI), an objective measure of self-esteem. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 1974, 4(5a), 473–475.Google Scholar
  14. Helmreich, R., Stapp, J., & Ervin, C. The Texas Social Behavior Inventory (TSBI): An objective measure of self-esteem or social competence. Journal Supplement Abstract Service Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 1974. Mischel, W. Personality and assessment. New York: Wiley, 1968.Google Scholar
  15. Mischel, W. Continuity and change in personality. American Psychologist, 1969, 24, 1012–1018.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mischel, W. Toward a cognitive social learning reconceptualization of personality. Psychological Review, 1973, 80, 252–283.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Newcomb, T. M. Student peer-group influence and intellectual outcomes of college experience. In R. Sutherland, W. Holtzman, E. Koile, & B. Smith (Eds.), Personality factors on campus. Austin, Texas: Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, 1962.Google Scholar
  18. Newcomb, T. M. Research on student characteristics: Current approaches. In L. Dennis & J. Kauffman (Eds.), The college and the students. Washington, D. C.: American Council on Education, 1966.Google Scholar
  19. Price, R. H., & Bouffard, D. L. Behavioral appropriateness and situational constraint and dimensions of social behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1974, 30, 579–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Raush, H. L., Dittman, A. T., & Taylor, T. J. Person, setting and change in social interaction. Human Relations, 1959, 12, 561–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Raush, H. L., Farbman, I., & Llewellyn, L. G. Person, setting and change in social interaction: II. A normal control study. Human Relations, 1960, 13, 305–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Valins, S., & Baum, A. Residential group size, social interaction, and crowding. Environment and Behavior, 1973, 5, 421–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Van der Ryn, S. & Silverstein, M. Dorms at Berkeley: An environmental analysis. New York: Educational Facilities Laboratories, 1967.Google Scholar
  24. Wheeler, L. Behavioral research for architectural planning and design. Terre Haute, Indiana: Ewing Miller Associates, 1968.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles J. Holahan
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Texas at AustinUSA

Personalised recommendations