Social Belonging Interventions: Effects on Undergraduate Students

Hannah Friesen Goshen College, Sarah Martin Goshen College, Alyssa Arella Goshen College, Makenna Bierbaum Goshen College, Diana Ramirez Goshen College, Elizabeth Eichelberger Goshen College, Jose Ortiz Goshen College
Faculty Sponsor(s): Julie Reese Goshen College
Research has indicated that sense of belonging (SOB) has a positive effect on overall affect and functioning, and can, furthermore, be increased through various interventions. In university students SOB is positively correlated with academic and social functioning, such as grades and feelings of self-efficacy. This study will test the efficacy of two interventions designed to increase SOB in 80 students attending a small Midwestern liberal-arts college. Intervention 1 will include receiving an encouraging letter from a professor. Intervention 2 will include reading an upper-level student’s 250-300 word personal reflection on SOB and writing a response reflection. Participants will be placed in groups based on the following four configurations of the two interventions: (1) SOB reflection and letter from professor, 2) SOB reflection without letter from professor, 3) control group reflection (unrelated to SOB) and letter from professor, and 4) control group reflection without letter from professor. The research hypothesis is that the students will have higher SOB levels following participation in the interventions, and that the greatest increase will be experienced by students who participated in both interventions. SOB will be measured before and after the interventions using the Sense of Social and Academic Fit (17-items) questionnaire developed by Walton and Cohen (2007). The results of this study will be useful both to those who seek ways to help college students gain a higher SOB and to those who wish to know more about what interventions are effective in increasing SOB.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

02:00 PM
Pharmacy & Health Sciences 156