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Quality of Life
RESULTS
Findings suggest that RAs experienced interesting changes to their ProQOL scores on
all three indicators: compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress.
The results and discussion of the results from this research project are situated within
the unique characteristics of the academic institution and the nature of campus housing.
It is critical to understand the nature of the campus as well as the unique characteristics
of the residence halls in order to further contextualize the findings.
Qualitative Findings
Those serving in the RA role at the end of the spring semester were asked to share
their thoughts in response to an open-ended question: How has the RA role impacted
you? A robust number (98 or 89%) of narrative responses were collected and viewed
as the qualitative data set.
The researchers met weekly over two months to read, review, and discuss the
narrative comments. The narrative responses were physically divided and reviewed
in iterations as both separate constructs and thoughtful construct comparisons. The
manifest themes are the overarching categories or, as discussed within our research
group, umbrella themes.
Manifest themes. Manifest themes suggested a naturally occurring binary of positive
and negative comments. Researchers conceptualized these as self-worth (positive
theme) and disconnect (negative theme). Both themes replicate the positives and negatives
within the RA responses and summarize the overall outcome of the RA responses.
Latent themes. These themes emerge from both the positive and negative categories
after thoughtful consideration, reflection, and dialogic engagement (Vaismoradi
et al., 2016). As part of the dialogic process of the researchers, the authenticity of the
emergent themes was contextualized with exact quotations from the narrative data.
Within the positive category, saturation was achieved within four sub-themes of accomplishment;
as an affirmed sense of purpose, pride; pleasure associated with being of
service, relationships; established personal connections, purpose; and motivations that
sustain the person in the role. Within the negative category, saturation was achieved
with an additional four sub-themes of obligations: conflict experienced when required
to perform a task that clashes with relationship-centered practices, maturity; either the
nature of the floor dynamics or the attributes of the residents, trauma; troubling situations
experienced by the RA that were shared with the residents, assumptions; and
negative preconceived ideas about the RA or the role of an RA formed by the residents.
Quantitative Findings
Resident assistants were surveyed twice: at the beginning and the end of the semester.
To examine the differences in the level of their ProQOL pre- and post-test scores,
an independent-samples t-test was conducted. The results indicated a significant
difference in all three sub-groups of ProQOL (compassion satisfaction, burnout, and
secondary traumatic stress) observed between the two test periods: compassion satis80
The Journal of College and University Student Housing

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

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