Title page for ETD etd-04122011-091435


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Casten, Jill Nicole
URN etd-04122011-091435
Title RESIDENT ADVISORS’ ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS ABOUT THE PROCESS OF IDENTIFYING AND REPORTING THREATENING BEHAVIORS
Degree PhD
Department Agricultural and Extension Education
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Rudd, Rick D. Committee Chair
Nowak, Jerzy Committee Member
Spencer, Edward F. D. Committee Member
Westfall-Rudd, Donna M. Committee Member
Keywords
  • threatening behaviors
  • Institutions of Higher Education
  • Resident Advisor
  • violence prevention
Date of Defense 2011-03-29
Availability restricted
Abstract
Threatening behavior is a cause for concern on college campuses. Even though solutions presented cannot completely prevent crime and violence, steps must be taken towards continuous improvement of violence prevention efforts. The purpose of this case study was to examine resident advisors’ attitudes and beliefs about the process of identifying and choosing to report threatening behaviors. Thirteen participants from Residence Life at a major Land Grant University served as the case study group. A qualitative approach guided the inquiry of the study and was represented through observations, document analysis, and participant interviews.

Analysis of the research questions supported the study’s findings. Overall, students’ exposure to violence prevention on campus is often through educational programs and resources, while Resident Advisors are also instrumental resources in sharing information with students. They suggest making more efforts in sharing violence prevention education with students. Because a wide range of issues face today’s college students, they seek assistance from Resident Advisors, as well as peers, friends, and family. Building community through the residence halls provides a proactive approach in efforts to develop and provide students opportunities for growth, responsibility, and accountability to their communities. Finally, despite reporting systems in place and resources available, barriers still remain for students. The inconsistency between the views and perceptions of violence prevention education and barriers to reporting between Resident Advisors and administration in Residence Life indicates need for further

engagement between students and Institutions of Higher Education based upon policies, educational efforts, and reporting structures. Institutions have an obligation to engage students in the prevention of violence through sustained community-building measures and working with targeted peer groups, such as Resident Advisors.

Conclusions from this study were explained through the individual, information, and social background factors of The Reasoned Action Approach and guided the recommendations for practice and further research. Addressing the disconnect between the administration and Resident Advisors’ perceptions is crucial in reducing barriers to reporting. A need remains for further engagement with peers, friends, family, RAs, and other influential groups to help shape students’ understanding, awareness, and continued involvement in the identification and reporting of threatening behaviors.

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