Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




This study gathered information of perceptions of living environment from three residence hall groups to determine differences in perceptions. Resident assistants, student-athletes, and a random sample of undergraduates participated in the study. Specifically, this study tested differences on the University Residence Environment Scale (URES) (Moos and Gerst, 1974) related to the variables of sex, race, living complex, classification level, size of hometown and personality type. The personality type of the residents was gathered through the use of the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator (MBTI) (Isabel Briggs Myers, 1962);The results of the study indicated differences and similarities in perceptions of various aspects of the living environment by each of the three groups. Based on group membership, there were differences in perceptions of the living environment. The resident assistants saw the environment as supportive of academic efforts; the student-athletes perceived the living environment as part of their social support system; and the undergraduates viewed the living environment as being supportive of the traditional social dating styles;There was little relationship between group membership and personality type in this study. All groups perceived the residence hall system as organized and structured;Significant differences in perceptions were found when subjects were compared by race and sex. When URES scores were examined according to the variable Sex, women had a higher mean score than men on the Emotional Support subscale, while men had a higher mean score than women on the Involvement subscale. Black residents had higher mean scores than white residents on the subscale "Traditional Social Orientation," and also a higher mean score in the subscale Competition;The study led to the following recommendations: greater staff support of cultural and artistic programming, more training of the Resident Assistants in understanding the needs of the undergraduate residents, and the continued orientation of sports team members to the residence hall system;In summary, residents' perceptions of the living environment were related to group membership, sex, race, classification, living complex, and size of hometown.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Ann Coppernoll Farni



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109 pages