Previous research has determined that tripling college students in dorm rooms that are considered “overcrowded” can have a negative effect on students’ academic performance and quality of roommate relationships. In addition, students who are beginning their college careers are more vulnerable to depression and anxiety. The present retrospective study examined depression/anxiety levels, overall academic performance and roommate relationship quality when comparing doubled and tripled students’ experiences during their first semester of their undergraduate program. Students at a state university who accepted admission after the deadline and had been assigned to triple vs. double rooms for their first year in college were invited to participate in the study. Students were recruited via email and asked to respond online to a series of surveys that retrospectively assessed their feelings of anxiety and depression, academic performance, and roommate relationship quality during their first months of college. Of the 408 invitations sent, only 27 who had lived in triples and 8 who had lived in doubles responded to the questionnaires. Independent sample t-tests revealed no differences between groups in any of the dependent variables. The lack of group differences was likely due to the small sample size. Future research should involve a larger sample and survey students early in their college career when they are living in their initial dorm situation. Such an approach will yield a better understanding of whether living in a triple room is detrimental to various aspects of students’ college adjustment.
Gilbert, Alex, "Investigating the Odd-Person-Out Principle: Socioemotional Adjustment of First-Year College Students in Double vs. Triple Living Scenarios" (2017). Honors College. 302.