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in recognition, which they can do by frequently challenging RAs to reflect on their
experiences and critically think of ways that they impacted, affected, and mattered to
their residents. Such reflection needs to be done with specificity; supervisors could
ask specific questions such as " who is a resident you believe is more aware of you this
week than the previous week and why? " or " who is a resident who relied on you this
week and why? " This suggestion could be incorporated in weekly or biweekly reports,
self-reflection during RA staff meetings, or one-on-one meetings. The questions posed
should rotate through the mattering components so that each one is emphasized and
given the appropriate attention.
Implications for Future Research
The first recommendation for additional research targets a limitation of this study: the
lack of sample diversity. This study should be replicated in different institution types
and geographic regions and at institutions with more diverse RA staffs in order to further
understand the feelings of mattering as a contributing factor to burnout among
RAs with different identities.
Additionally, this study did not address the role supervisors play in RAs' feelings of
mattering and burnout. Freudenberger (1975) indicated that working for an authoritarian
supervisor leads to burnout. Therefore, future research exploring the relationship
between RAs and their supervisors may further illuminate not only RAs' experiences
of burnout, but also their feelings of mattering under different supervision styles.
Given the methods employed and the sample, the theoretical lens of mattering did
not appear to provide significant results in conjunction with the most apparent symptom
of burnout: emotional exhaustion (Maslach et al., 2001). Future research on RA
burnout may reconcile this by revisiting the methods and controlling for demographic
variables not considered in this study, such as sexual orientation and socioeconomic status.
If deeper study continues to reveal no connection, perhaps considering a different
theoretical lens would be warranted. Possible alternatives centered around relationships
may include university belonging (Freeman et al., 2007) or relatedness (Moller et al.,
2010).
CONCLUSION
This study successfully began filling the gap in the literature about RA relationships
and burnout. Mattering is a direct function of the relationships between RAs
and their residents, which this study revealed to be a significant predictor of two
dimensions of burnout. Any increase in RA mattering results in lower feelings of
depersonalization and higher feelings of personal accomplishment. Not only did
mattering serve as a significant predictor variable, but it also substantially increased
the amount of variance explained in burnout, above and beyond demographic and
working condition variables. 
Volume 48, No. 2 * 2022 107

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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