Journal of Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research


Sarah Crowe


Research on personal space has found that individual cultures and ethnic groups have a similar preference for the use of personal space within each respective group. Differences in the use of personal space exist across gender, as women tend to share a closer proximity than men. The purpose of this study was to measure the use of personal space among college students. Use of personal space was defined in this study as the preference or need for a specific amount of personal space. Specifically, the researcher hypothesized differences across gender and ethnicity would be found. Survey methodology was used to measure different variables of personal space among private university students (N=102). The results indicated that male students feel more comfortable than female students in greeting an acquaintance of the opposite gender with a hug or a kiss. Female students reported being more comfortable than male students in greeting an acquaintance of the same gender. An agenda for future research that includes cultural differences among college students was described.