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The purpose of the study was to explore the way in which Resident Assistants make meaning of their first year in the position. Second and Third Year Resident Assistants from different living areas at the University of Dayton were interviewed about their first year as a Resident Assistant. The use of returning Resident Assistants was based on the Subject-Object Shift Theory by Kegan (1994). Each Resident Assistant was asked to reflect on how s/he developed as a person and as a Resident Assistant over their first year. The Resident Assistant position proved to be a developmental experience in the interpersonal, intrapersonal and cognitive dimensions of the students experiencing it. The tools of interview summary and thematic analysis were used to explain the common experience of the participants.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Molly A. Schaller

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education and Human Services


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A Qualitative Study of Returning Resident Assistants Reflecting on Their First Year