The relationship between residents' locus of control orientation and their perceptions of the roles of the resident assistant
Sargent, Sharon Regina
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The purpose of this study was to determine what Resident Assistant (RA) roles or job responsibilities are most important to first-year residential students in their transition into the college. Specifically, is there a relationship between students’ perceptions of their personal control as they negotiate the many challenges presented them in the collegiate environment and how helpful they perceive the RAs to be to them in their first year of college? Employing a quantitative approach to data analysis, this study of students’ perceptions utilized a paper questionnaire which combined two validated instruments from prior research: Conlogue’s (1993) The Resident Assistant Questionnaire and Levenson’s (1973a, 1981) The Internality, Powerful Others, and Chance Locus of Control Scales. In addition, participants were asked to complete five open-ended questions and provide demographic information that was tabulated and quantitatively analyzed. Findings in this study concluded that there appears to be a slight statistically significance in the correlation between high scores on Internality Scale and the belief that all RA roles are important. The research findings substaniate that parents continue to be powerful others in the lives of students. In addition, findings provide insights as to how students perceive their autonomy within the collegiate environment. Finally, the RA position continues to attract undergraduates as a position where leadership experience can be obtained and financial assistance can be found to combat the rising costs of attending college.