The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - 31

SUPERVISING RESIDENT ASSISTANTS (RAs) on college and
university campuses is one of the most critical roles of
housing staff. The job responsibilities of RAs are demanding,
and the position is filled with multiple stressors, including
role ambiguity, role conflict, and burnout, which can lead
to attrition and reduced job satisfaction. Supervision is
a critical skill for student affairs professionals, yet little
research has been conducted on the supervision of RAs.
In this study, the relationship between perceived levels
of synergistic supervision and job satisfaction factors
were examined among residence directors (RDs) and RAs.
Data were gathered via a survey that incorporated the
following scales: Synergistic Supervision Scale, Michigan
Organizational Assessment Questionnaire's Job Satisfaction
and Intention to Turnover scales, and Role Conflict and
Ambiguity Scale. Correlation analyses revealed a strong to
moderate negative relationship between perceived level of
synergistic supervision received by RAs and role conflict,
role ambiguity, and intention to turnover. No significant
relationship was found between RD job satisfaction and RA
job satisfaction.

. . . elements
that make the
RA position
susceptible to
burnout include
the helping role
RAs have with
students, policy
enforcement, and
the 24-hour-a-day
nature of the job.

College and university faculty and staff strive to create positive environments in which students can learn and thrive. More than 2.5
million students who live on university campuses (U.S. Census
Bureau, 2010) reside in residence halls. Because of the potential
impact that housing can have on student success, housing departments employ staff, including resident assistants (RAs) and residence directors (RDs), to support students' residential experiences.
RAs often are viewed as the first line of contact with students
living on campus (Paladino, Murray, Newgent, & Gohn, 2005).
There are many facets to the RA position, including connecting
residents with campus resources (Blimling, 2003), enforcing community policies (Everett & Loftus, 2011), and planning student
events (Winston & Ender, 1988). The RA position is generally filled

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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - Intro
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - Cover1
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - Cover2
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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - 6A
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - Contents
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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - Cover3
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - Cover4
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