Power, load, and margin : relationships between professional development and margin in life among student affairs professionals at Ball State University
Using McClusky"s (1963) Power Load Margin (PLM) theory, this study employed a correlational research design to investigate if relationships existed between involvement in career-related professional development outlets and activities, and Margin in Life (MIL) scores for full-time student affairs professionals at Ball State University. Correlation coefficients (Pearson r) were calculated to determine if relationships existed between MIL scores and the number of career-related professional development outlets and activities. Partial correlation coefficients were calculated to determine if relationships existed between subjects' ages and the relationship between MIL scores and the number of career-related professional development outlets and activities.Subjects (n = 107) were identified using the 2004-2005 Ball State University Directory and mailed a Professional Development Questionnaire (PDQ), created by the researcher, and Stevenson's (1982) Margin in Life Scale. Responses from 64 subjects were used in this study (31 females and 33 males). Subjects' ages ranged from 22 to 67 years (M = 41.5 years).PDQ results indicated that subjects averaged involvement in 10.6 outlets in the previous 12 months. Six indicated involvement in more than 20 outlets. Excluding these responses, the mean for outlets was 8.8. The mean for activities was 8.4.The mean MIL score for subjects was .60. All subjects in this study had a sufficient amount of power; thus, no subject had an excessive amount of load.Results of the correlational analyses suggest the possibility that a negative correlation may exist between MIL scores and the number of career-related professional development outlets. Although the correlation and partial correlation coefficients were weak, this may have been a function of the relatively small number of subjects who participated in this study. Additional research with a larger subject population is suggested to investigate this possible relationship. No relationship was found between MIL scores and career-related professional development activities. No differences in relationships between outlets and activities, and MIL scores were found when the age of subjects was factored either in or out as an influence. Further PLM research in student affairs is suggested, including qualitative methods investigating areas of professional development relating to power, load, and margin.