Graduation Year

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Marc S. Karver

Keywords

Autonomy, Burnout, Display Rules, Extraversion, Role Ambiguity, Role conflict

Abstract

Relatively few empirical studies in the professional burnout literature have examined mental health providers (MHPs). Research on other professional groups has demonstrated that certain emotion regulation strategies, known as emotional labor (i.e., deep acting and surface acting), are common responses to perceived display rules (i.e., professional guidelines for emotional expression), and are differentially associated with burnout. The present study aimed to fill a gap in the literature by evaluating the empirical links between work stressors (i.e., role conflict, role ambiguity, and lack of autonomy), personality (i.e., extraversion), emotional labor (i.e., surface acting and deep acting), and burnout in a sample of MHPs. Additional variables (i.e., perceived emotional display rules, client characteristics, etc.) were also explored. Data from an online survey of 188 MHPs working in Florida was analyzed using multivariate and univariate regressions. The results of this study supported several of the hypothesized relationships between predictor variables and burnout. Most notably, extraversion, role conflict, role ambiguity, autonomy, and surface acting were significantly associated with one or more dimensions of burnout. Support was not found for extraversion as a moderator of the relationships between work stressors and burnout or between work stressors and emotional labor strategies. The effects of emotional labor strategies as mediators of the relationships between work stressors and burnout were not statistically significant. Implications and limitations of the findings, as well as suggestions for future research, are discussed.

Share

COinS