Nursing Publications

Title

Negative Social Experiences of University and College Students

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-2008

Journal

Canadian Journal of Higher Education

Volume

38

Issue

3

First Page

57

Last Page

75

Abstract

In this article we investigate Canadian university and college students' interpersonal conflicts and exposure to abuse and violence during their postsecondary studies and assess the emotional, social, and academic impact of these experiences. Our findings, based on a sample 1174 university and college students in Southwestern Ontario, revealed that although most of the incidents reported were verbal in nature and had relatively little emotional or academic impact, a small proportion of students reported experiencing serious violent incidents including sexual assault or rape, and these incidents have had a significant impact on their lives. Female students living on their own reported greater impact of negative social experiences than those who were living in college or university residences. In addition, students who reported conflicts involving institutional policies or rules, including what they perceived to be unfair workloads or grading practices, indicated that such experiences had a negative impact on their academic performance. We discuss these findings in the context of maintaining safe, healthy climates on university and college campuses.