Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Students’ peer relationships and their contribution to university adjustment: the need to belong in the university community

Maunder, R. (2017) Students’ peer relationships and their contribution to university adjustment: the need to belong in the university community. Journal of Further and Higher Education. 0309-877X.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: Whilst new friendships and an active social life are commonly discussed features of ‘being a student’, there is limited empirical research that has quantitatively studied the contribution that social factors play in students’ university experience. Research that has been conducted shows that belonging and social integration are important factors in successful transition to university, and subsequent retention (Pittman and Richmond 2008; Wilcox et al 2005). This paper presents research into students’ social relationships at university, their attachment to the university, and how these elements link to university adjustment. Undergraduates (n = 135) completed questionnaires measuring their attachment to university peers, attachment to the university, experiences of problematic peer relationships, and quality of adjustment to university life. Students who reported strong attachment with their peers also had higher levels of university adjustment and university attachment. Students who reported difficulties in their relationships with other students had lower levels of peer attachment and university adjustment. Attachment to university peers was the strongest predictor of university adjustment, followed by attachment to the university. The research highlights the role of social relationships in institutional belonging, and the importance of nurturing peer relationships and institutional affiliation for a positive student experience.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Transition, university, higher education, peer relationships, attachment, belonging
Creators: Maunder, Rachel
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: Faculties > Faculty of Health & Society > Psychology
Date: 1 June 2017
Date Type: Published Online
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Further and Higher Education
Language: English
ISSN: 0309-877X
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item