WHY CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS? AN INVESTIGATION OF CONFLICT BETWEEN COLLEGE ROOMMATES

Open Access
Author:
Echevarria, Alexa Christina
Area of Honors:
Criminology
Degree:
Bachelor of Humanities
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Richard B Felson, Thesis Supervisor
  • Stacy Silver, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • roommates
  • conflict
  • content
  • alcohol
  • third party
  • gender
Abstract:
I studied conflicts with roommates experienced by college students. The analyses are based on a survey of 193 students (73 male, 98 female) who were asked how often conflicts occurred and what happened during the conflicts with their roommates. To my knowledge, this is the first study examining conflicts between college roommates. I examined variables that predicted whether respondents had grievances, whether they expressed their grievances, and whether they expressed anger during the conflict. The study focused on the following variables: gender, the subject of grievances, the involvement of alcohol, and whether or not there was third-party mediation. Results suggested that women report having grievances with their roommate without voicing them more often than men, and that the subject matter of grievances does not significantly vary between genders. The most common conflicts between both genders had to do with cleanliness. It was also found that the presence of alcohol increased the likelihood of verbal aggression during a conflict once a grievance was expressed. It was also found that third-party were more likely to mediate when anger was openly expressed.