The influence of professor-student interactions and campus belonging on college student psychosocial well-being

The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between professor-student interactions and psychosocial well-being (loneliness, social anxiety) through the mediator of campus belonging. The college transition can be stress-inducing for students (representative of steadily increasing rates of loneliness and anxiety), due to an absence of support networks (e.g., parents). Positive professor-student interactions were examined given that they foster a sense of campus belonging, in turn affecting psychosocial well-being. The current study was comprised of undergraduate students (N = 298) enrolled at a Northern California University. Simple mediation analyses indicated that positive professor-student interactions were linked with a greater sense of campus belonging, which in turn was linked with sense of psychosocial well-being. Additional analyses examined if demographic groupings (gender, ethnicity, job hours, transfer status) differed in these effects. Results reflect the benefits of professor-student interactions in scaffolding students’ sense of psychosocial well-being, and recommendations for furthering ties preemptively.