Extroverted Students More Likely to Feel Connected to Their University, Study Finds

United States Canada North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Mar 25, 2024

students socializing, United States

First-year college students who are more sociable tend to feel a strong sense of belonging to their institution, a new study has found. These students are therefore, more likely to stay in and successfully graduate from college.

According to the study published in Plos One journal this January, students who consider themselves more extroverted and agreeable during the academic year were more likely to feel connected to their college by the end of the year, Erudera.com reports.

Findings showed that students who experienced higher neuroticism characterized by emotional instability, such as anxiety, at the end of the year felt less connected to the university. On the other hand, those with lower levels of neuroticism reported a stronger sense of belonging.

Shannon Brady from Wake Forest University, Maithreyi Gopalan from Pennsylvania State University, and independent researcher Alexandria Stubblebine conducted the study, which involved 4,753 students from 12 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada.

The survey revealed that extroverted students were also more successful in building satisfying relations with others. At the same time, introverts reported higher levels of social anxiety and were, therefore, less likely to seek social support as a way to deal with their problems.

“Thus, extraverts may be more likely to act in ways that help them connect with peers, integrate on campus, and develop a secure sense of belonging. This example illustrates how personality could reasonably be associated with how students engage on campus, how they make sense of their college experiences, and whether or not they feel like they belong,” the report points out.

Extroverted, less neurotic and less open students who asserted a connection to their university tend to attend larger institutions.

Moreover, students who identified themselves as Black, Asian, Hispanic, Native, multiracial, or other were less likely to report a sense of belonging to the institution they were studying compared to their white fellow students.

Under this investigation, researchers aimed to understand more about the correlation between personalities and institutional belonging.

They also addressed strategies universities and colleges can implement to make their students feel more supported, depending on their personality.

“Practitioners should keep in mind that different students—with different backgrounds but also different personalities—may find different avenues to build their sense of belonging on campus. We encourage institutions to create multiple, varied pathways to belonging, and to emphasize that developing a sense of belonging often takes time.”

Another study conducted earlier, involving more than 26,000 students from 22 four-year universities and published in the journal Science also found that students who feel a sense of belonging to college are more likely to graduate.

© Ben Duchac | Unsplash

Related News

University of Massachusetts Amherst cover

The University of Massachusetts (UMass) has approved an increase in tuition for the 2024/25 academic year.

United States

Apr 12, 2024

University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins

University of Arizona President Robert Robbins has recently announced he will resign from his role at the end of his term in June 2026 or when the institution finds a replacement before his contract expires.

United States

Apr 05, 2024

North Carolina State University

An investigation has started into North Carolina State University after more than 150 individuals, including students and staff, were diagnosed with cancers and other illnesses which they say have been caused due to toxins found within Poe Hall, a class building at the university.

United States

Apr 05, 2024