Vision and Purpose
The SRA is designed to give students at Christian colleges and universities across the country the opportunity to focus and reflect on some important areas of their emotional, relational and spiritual lives. It will also help administration, faculty and student development staff at participating schools discover ways in which they can more effectively educate and equip the “whole” student. Specifically, the SRA assesses personal and relational growth and spiritual formation and is designed to be sensitive to changes (hopefully growth) in these areas. The SRA also provides an ongoing and comparative assessment of spiritual, emotional, and relational competencies, and interest in growth opportunities that are reflective of the integration of faith and learning in the lives of students.
Development of the SRA was started in 2001 by the CRE team and a group of professional consultants. The initial development involved a comprehensive literature review and thorough survey of existing instruments to determine if any of them fit the criteria of our center to assess relational, emotional and spiritual development in college students. Our team concluded that there was not an existing instrument that adequately met our criteria.
Based upon this initial research and with the help of outside consultants, the CRE team began to generate items based on our desire for an instrument that would assess spiritual, emotional, and relational competence and growth. After generating thousands of items, the first generation SRA was completed and given to several schools for Beta testing. Over seven hundred college students from Biola, Regent, Huntington, Abilene Christian, North Greenville College, and JBU assisted in the initial development of the SRA. Currently, over 11,000 college students have taken the SRA. In addition to John Brown University, some of the other participant schools include Biola University, Bethel University, Pepperdine University, Fresno Pacific University, Abilene Christian University, Northwestern College-MN, Colorado Christian University, Ozark Christian College, Southeastern Bible College and Heritage College (Ontario, Canada).
Our plan involves having students take the SRA at the beginning of their freshman year and at the end of their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. The results from the SRA will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the URI and university curriculum in equipping current students to establish and maintain healthy relationships with God and with others.
Our long-term plan is to develop a form available for students to take online after they graduate. This will provide us with a potentially invaluable longitudinal perspective. As we are able to assess the long-term impact of our programs, we will be able to improve what we are doing as well us find new ways to more effectively encourage and serve our alumni.
SRA Reliability and Validity
The SRA is a self-report assessment that measures Emotional and Relational Intelligence. For the SRA to be considered a psychometrically sound tool it must demonstrate reliability and validity. The SRA has been evaluated through two phases over the past year. The rigorous evaluation process utilizing Factor Analysis has resulted in an assessment that is both reliable and valid.
Reliability indicates whether the attribute measured by the assessment (in this case ERQ) is being assessed in a consistent, precise way. The reliability for the total SRA scale according to Cronbach’s alpha coefficient is .93, with each subscale demonstrating alpha levels greater than .75.
Validity on the other hand refers to the assessments ability to accurately measure what it intends to measure. Three types of validity were evaluated. First, the SRA has good content validity in that several experts agree that test items are an adequate and representative sample of the target domain (i.e. ERQ). Second, the SRA demonstrated strong criterion-related validity in that it correlated well with previously established measures of Emotional and/or Social Intelligence. A moderate positive correlation of .64 was noted with the Emotional Intelligence Scale and a strong positive correlation of .71 was noted with the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory – University Edition. Third, the construct validity of the SRA is strong. Two initial hypotheses (one on gender and one on dating frequency) were tested, revealing that the theoretical construct of ERQ could be accurately measured among college students.
Additional psychometric tests, such as test-retest reliability, are currently being conducted.