Sense of belonging in college freshmen at the classroom and campus levels

Tierra M. Freeman, Lynley H. Anderman, Jane M. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

574 Scopus citations

Abstract

The importance of students' sense of school belonging for many adaptive outcomes is becoming well established; however, few researchers have focused on college-aged populations. In this study, the authors examined associations between undergraduate students' sense of class belonging and their academic motivation in that class, their sense of class belonging and perceptions of their instructors' characteristics, and their class and campus-level sense of belonging. They distributed questionnaires to students at a southeastern university; freshmen (N = 238) completed the questionnaire. The authors found associations between (a) students' sense of class belonging and their academic self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation, and task value; (b) students' sense of class-level belonging and their perceptions of instructors' warmth and openness, encouragement of student participation, and organization; and (c) students' sense of university-level belonging and their sense of social acceptance. The authors found smaller effects on students' sense of university-level belonging for faculty pedagogical caring and for class-level sense of belonging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-220
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Education
Volume75
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2007

Keywords

  • Belonging
  • Motivation
  • Undergraduate students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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