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assignment) had a significant relationship with the outcome variable. The lack of predictability
of emotional exhaustion lends support to the notion that this is less related
to relationships than are the other two dimensions (Maslach et al., 2001).
Additionally, the results demonstrated that RAs' sense of mattering was negatively
related to their level of emotional exhaustion. In other words, RAs who experienced
a stronger sense of mattering were less likely to be emotionally exhausted. Although
emotional exhaustion is the most apparent symptom of burnout (Maslach et al., 2001),
mattering did little to explain the variance in levels of emotional exhaustion (3.0%).
Depersonalization
None of the demographic characteristics had a significant relationship with depersonalization
levels. Conversely, the work-related variables were positively related to depersonalization.
That is, RAs serving in residence halls and responsible for more residents
were more likely to experience feelings of depersonalization. On first glance, it is
surprising to learn that RAs in apartments experience less depersonalization since, at
least anecdotally, RAs serving apartment communities tend to experience more challenges
in connecting with residents due to their upper-division status and the often
associated desire for more autonomy than do RAs in residence halls.
Similar to the emotional exhaustion model, RAs' mattering had a negative relationship
with the outcome variable. More specifically, RAs with a higher level of mattering
were less likely to feel depersonalized. As such, levels of depersonalization could
only be predicted at a significant level when the model included total mattering. With
mattering included, the amount of variance explained in depersonalization increased
by more than 17%. This finding reveals how increasing feelings of mattering felt by
RAs will lead to lower levels of depersonalization.
Personal Accomplishment
While personal accomplishment was the only dimension of burnout significantly predicted
without total mattering included, when total mattering was inserted as a predictor
variable the amount of variance explained increased substantially, from 5.6%
to 49.1%. This finding suggests that RAs' perception of mattering to their residents
has a dramatic positive impact on increasing their levels of personal accomplishment.
Total mattering maintains the most influence on personal accomplishment when
compared to the impact in the other two dimensions, so any effort to increase RA mattering
will manifest more obviously in personal accomplishment. Furthermore, the
fact that sophomore status and area size ceased to be significant in the model once total
mattering was included suggests how mattering can compensate for natural baseline
feelings of burnout in these groups.
Since mattering is a direct function of interpersonal relationships,
RAs would benefit from training focused on developing
enhanced relationship-building skills, which in turn would reduce
depersonalization and increase personal accomplishment.
Volume 48, No. 2 * 2022 105

Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2

Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2 - intro
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Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2 - Cover3
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