The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - 68

R. Jason Lynch

semesters they have served as a resident assistant. They selected from a 5-point Likert scale
ranging from 1 = 1-2 semesters, 2 = 3-4 semesters, 3 = 5-6 semesters, 4 = 7-8 semesters, and
5 = more than 8 semesters. Summer sessions
were counted as one semester.

to be related to the development of secondary traumatic stress (Baird & Kracen, 2006).
To assess this, an additional variable, sum of
trauma types, was created by adding together
the number of individual trauma types indicated by the RA trauma type variable.

RA training type. Self-efficacy has been
identified as a buffer for professional helpers
against secondary traumatic stress (Cieslak et
al., 2013; Lynch, 2017). Training may aid in
developing RAs' ability to build confidence in
their ability to support others through trauma.
Participants were asked to select any of the following trainings in which they participated:
summer RA training, staff meetings, spring
RA training, in-service training, online training, and no formal training.

Average amount of trauma support. The
amount of time a professional helper spends
supporting trauma victims has been found to
impact levels of secondary trauma (Hensel et
al., 2015). Participants were asked to select the
average amount of time in which they engaged
in trauma support work per year. Options included never, once a year, a few times a year,
once a month, a few days a month, a few days a
week, every day, and prefer not to answer.

RA trauma type. Severity of trauma has

IBM SPSS Version 23 was used to analyze
the dataset. Independent samples t-tests were
used to investigate differences in the means
of categorical variables on the STRAS and its
subscales. Eta squared values were calculated
to measure the effect size of any differences. A
Bonferroni adjustment (p < .003) was applied
to account for Type 1 error. Additionally, bivariate correlations were used to investigate
the relationship between continuous variables
dealing with work environment factors.

been identified as a potential factor for developing trauma-related mental illness (May &
Wisco, 2016). Participants were asked to indicate all trauma types for which they have supported a resident. Options included death of a
loved one; family issues (divorce, child abuse,
etc.); suicidal ideation, attempt, or completion;
severe mental health episode (anxiety attack,
schizophrenia, severe depression, etc.); hate
crimes and discrimination; sexual violence;
witness to traumatic event; substance abuse;
life-threatening illness or injury; eating disorders; domestic violence; economic hardship;
robbery; physical assault; military combat
mental or physical injury; natural or manmade disasters; or other.

Sum of trauma types. As previously mentioned, RAs are often asked to provide the first
response to a diverse array of traumas. Cumulative exposure to trauma has been found

68

Data Analysis

RESULTS
Table 1 summarizes the demographic characteristics of the participants.

Results of Bivariate Correlations for
Work Environment and STRAS Scale and
Subscales
Table 2 summarizes the results of the bivariate
correlations between selected work factors, the
STRAS, and its subscales. Results indicated that

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



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
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