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Back in Person: Attachment to Campus, Social Isolation, and Loneliness as a Result of COVID-19

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Kennedi Childs

Additional Presenters:
Angelica Jaegle (
As the world rebounds from what is considered one of the most isolating pandemics in human history, it is crucial now more than ever to investigate how this isolation has impacted people (Marazziti & Stahl, 2020). Research has indicated a predominant factor in preventing depression or anxiety is feeling a sense of belonging (Mellor et al., 2008). Research also indicates that attachment to a place can impact feelings of belonging (Escalera-Reyes, 2020). Relationships exist between subjective characteristics of the environment and an individual's attitudes and actions in relation to that environment. These characteristics are linked to an individual's satisfaction, behavior, and performance within that specific environment (Carlopio & Gardner, 1992). The purpose of the present research is to assess the relationship between place attachment and perceived social isolation in students returning to campus at Southern Utah University. Approximately 200 lower and upper division students taking a psychology course completed Likert-type scales measuring perceived social isolation (Cornwall and Waite, 2009), and place attachment measures assessing affective commitment (Meyer and Allen, 1997), satisfaction (Hackman & Oldham, 1975), intentions to leave (Cropanzano et al., 1993), and the scenic beauty of the campus (Elias, et al., 2013). It is hypothesized there is a relationship between social isolation and aesthetic ratings of campus (scenic beauty), leading to greater or lesser satisfaction with the university. Satisfaction also mediates the relationships between affective commitment to the university and intention to leave/remain. In essence, social isolation and scenic beauty are expected to have an indirect effect on commitment and turnover intentions through satisfaction with the university. Descriptive, correlational, and reliability results will be presented as well as SEQ goodness of fit statistics assessing the hypothesized model. Perceived social isolation is related to how attached one feels to their university and has implications for student satisfaction and retention.
University / Institution: Southern Utah University
Type: Oral
Format: In Person
SESSION B (10:45AM-12:15PM)
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Britton Mace
Location: Alumni House, SORENSON ROOM (11:25am)