University Housing Reinforces the Negative Relationship between Interpersonal Violence, Psychological Distress, and Suicidality in Undergraduates, Particularly among Gender Diverse Students


Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies



Document Type



academic success, gender, housing, interpersonal violence, mental health, transgender




Objective: To compare academic and mental health outcomes across diverse gender identities in the context of interpersonal violence and campus housing. Participants: 45,549 students from 124 self-selected post-secondary institutions. Methods: Various academic and health measures from the National College Health Assessment Spring 2017 dataset were analyzed for differences across five gender identities (cis women, cis men, transwomen, transmen, and genderqueer students), and two housing categories (university housing and non-university housing). Results: When compared to cisgender peers, gender diverse students reported greater experiences of interpersonal violence and higher levels of negative academic and mental health outcomes. Living in university housing was associated with an increase in these disparities. Conclusions: University housing, which usually reinforces fixed gender binaries, is associated with worse outcomes for gender diverse students. These data can help higher education institutions better understand and address problems that disproportionately impact transgender and gender diverse students, who represent a growing demographic.

Published in

Journal of American College Health

Citation/Other Information

Heller, A.T., Berg, S.S., & Prichard, J.R. (2023). University housing reinforces the negative relationship between interpersonal violence, psychological distress, and suicidality in undergraduates, particularly among gender diverse students. Journal of American College Health, 71(1), 102-110. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2021.1878186