First Advisor

Nancy J. Chapman

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




Area planning & development, Oregon State University -- Student housing, Architecture -- Psychological aspects, Crowding stress



Physical Description

[ii], x, 159 leaves: map, plans 28 cm.


This dissertation addresses the following research questions: How do physical features of high density college dormitories affect residents' perception of crowding, and what kinds of design strategies are available for alleviating the perceived crowding? The data source was responses to a self-administered questionnaire from residents of living units which were randomly sampled from three dormitories of comparable physical density at Oregon State University. Seven hypotheses were used to examine the relationship between perceived crowding and physical features associated with different settings in selected dormitories. The first hypothesis sought to clarify how selected physical variables, compared with selected social and personal variables, contributed to perceived crowding both in dormitory dwellings (floor crowding) and rooms (room crowding). For the remaining hypotheses, comparisons were made to determine if differences existed between groups living on floors with varied corridor length, floor height (distance above ground level), and bathroom location, and between groups living in rooms with varied desk location, room location, and window orientation. Using multiple regression analysis and analysis of variance as the major tools for hypothesis testing, the study found that: (1) both room and dwelling crowding were not significantly affected by the selected physical, social, and personal variables; (2) floor crowding was significantly lower among residents of short corridors and among those who shared suite rather than community bathrooms. Variations in floor level did not affect perceived crowding; (3) room crowding was not significantly affected by variations in desk location, room location, and window orientation, but rather by the interactive effects of window orientation and floor height.


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Portland State University. School of Urban Affairs.

Persistent Identifier