Personality correlates of resident assistant effectiveness
Frazer, Douglas Lee
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The problem: The problem was to determine the relationships between selected personality charac teristics and other predictors, and resident assistant effectiveness. Procedures: The sample included eight male and eleven female volunteers selected for RA positions at Drake University in Spring 1981. Predictors were Personality Research Form, Form AA subscales, job referecces, selection interview items, age, and GPA, obtained prior to the conclusion of the 1981 RA selection process. The Drake Resident Assistant Evaluation Form was used to measure "RA effectiveness" from the perspective of an RA's peers living in a residence hall. Peer evaluation ratings were obtained in November 1981. Non-parametric statistical tests were employed in a simple correlation design to analyze the data and to disclose relationships between predictors and the criterion. Findings: RA's did not differ greatly from most college students in "normal" personality needs, and male and female RA groups differed significantly from each other on two of forty-seven predictors. For males, scores on the PRF-AA Exhibition subscale, and interview item ratings on "Assertive" and "Community Minded" each correlated +.71 with DRAEF scores. For females, DRAEF scores correlated -.68 with PRF-AA Affiliation subscale scores, -.65 with Nurturance subscale scores, and -.68 with interview item ratings on "Comunication." No other predictors correlated significantly with the criterion. Conclusions: (1) For males, the PRP-AA Exhibition subscale is a significant predictor of RA ffectiveness. For females, the subscales Affiliation and Nurturance are significant predictors. (2) For males, the selection interview items "Assertive" and "Community Minded" are significant predictors. For females, the item "Communication" is a significant predictor. (3) Age, GPA, and job recommendations are not significant predictors for males or females. Recommendations: RA selection criteria should be constructed separately from, and validated regularly against, evaluation criteria. Age, job references, and GPA, although showing insignificant predictive value, should not be excluded from RA selection processes. Sex differences should be considered in identifying significant predictors of RA effectiveness. Functions of RA's should be communicated clearly to residence hall students. Periodic research is needed to identify components of RA effectiveness from a residence hall peer group perspective. Future research should incorporate larger sample sizes.
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