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survey was administered early in the spring 2016 semester to every RA at four medium
to large public universities with membership in the Upper Midwest Region-Association
of College and University Housing Officers. Of the 308 RAs asked to participate, 153
completed the survey, yielding a response rate of 49.7%.
Survey Instrument
The survey adopted items from two validated instruments: a modified version of the
University Mattering Scale (UMS; France & Finney, 2010) and the Maslach Burnout
Inventory-Educators Survey (MBI-ES; Maslach et al., 1996). Both instruments had
been previously validated: the UMS by France and Finney (2010) and the MBI-ES by
Gold (1984) and Iwanicki and Schwab (1981).
Iwanicki and Schwab (1981) and Gold (1984) found support for the three-factor
model of the MBI. Both studies used samples of teachers to reach this conclusion (469
teachers in Massachusetts and 462 teachers in California, respectively). Cronbach alpha
estimates varied slightly in each study for emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and
personal accomplishment: Iwanicki and Schwab found Cronbach alpha estimates of
.90, .76, and .76, whereas Gold found estimates of .88, .74, and .72. Maslach and colleagues
(1996) stated that " these reliability coefficients parallel those of the MBI-HSS "
(p. 29), from which the MBI-ES was modified. The internal consistency and reliability
of the UMS was calculated using a Cronbach's alpha coefficient for each of the four
subscales: awareness (.86), importance (.81), ego extension (.71), and reliance (.87). The
factor intercorrelations ranged from .73 to .94 (France & Finney, 2010).
The UMS was originally designed using a 5-point Likert scale to assess college students'
perceptions of mattering to their specific overall university community (France
& Finney, 2010). For this study, the UMS was modified (with permission of the original
authors) to focus on RAs' mattering to their individual residential community instead of
the overall campus community. The term community was defined in the instrument instructions
as " the students in [the RA's] specific community (e.g., floor, wing, apartment
building, etc.). " The modified UMS was reviewed by one of the original authors and a
panel of three upper-level housing administrators. The panel reviewed the modified
UMS, evaluating if the consistency and clarity of each item remained the same as in the
original UMS. No item was deemed inconsistent or unclear, so the modified UMS was
used as developed. Of the 24 items, eight measured awareness, seven measured importance,
three measured ego extension, and six measured reliance (France & Finney,
2010) on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree.
The MBI-ES contained 22 items across the three dimensions of burnout: emotional
exhaustion (9), depersonalization (5), and personal accomplishment (8). The MBI-ES
required no alterations for the purposes of this study. Each instrument item was scored
on a 7-point Likert scale (0 = never, 1 = a few times a year or less, 2 = once a month or less,
3 = a few times a month, 4 = once a week, 5 = a few times a week, and 6 = every day).
People who perceive that they matter feel that others notice and
pay attention to them, invest in their well-being, and rely on them.
Volume 48, No. 2 * 2022 99

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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