Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Psychiatric and Mental Health

Second Advisor

Copyright © 2012 Christopher Zaddach

Third Advisor

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The transition to a university setting can be a particularly challenging and stressful experience for a significant proportion of first-year students who may struggle to cope with dramatic changes in academic and social demands. Despite available resources and services, universities continue to report significant attrition rates and increases in severity and intensity of mental health issues among first-year students. Living learning communities (LLCs) have long been recognized as programming options with the ability to support students' academic and social adjustment. The current study aimed to expand the literature on LLCs by examining the possible mental health benefits of living learning programs for first-year students. The purpose of this study was to determine if participation LLCs at a residential university impacts students' self-reported levels of depression, anxiety, stress, and self-esteem across their first year of college. Results indicated that, with respect to mental health outcomes, students involved in LLCs experienced limited benefits compared to traditional residential setting students and may be at a relative disadvantage as they transition into emerging adulthood. Limitations and implication of this study's findings are explored.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.