Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Health Services

Advisor

Shirley Gerrior

Abstract

There are low retention rates of dietitians and this impacts quality of care. Emotional intelligence (EI) may be the missing component to improve retention, due to EI increasing job satisfaction and decreasing burnout for other health providers. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between EI, job satisfaction, and burnout for dietitians. The theoretical framework utilized was the 4-branch model of EI. Method of inquiry was convenience, quantitative non-experimental design. Registered dietitians (N = 84,173) living in the United States were contacted via e-mail. Approximately 9.5% of dietitians (n = 8,038) completed the Wong and Law EI Scale, Job Diagnostic Survey, Copenhagen Burnout Inventory, and a demographic survey. Frequency was calculated based on coded data that 89.38% of dietitians indicated high level of EI (score â?¥ 4.5). Levels of EI and burnout for dietitians were examined with a Chi2 (p = 0.000), Pearson r correlation (r = 0.28, p = 0.000), and positive linear regression (r2 = 0.075, p = 0.000). Levels of EI and job satisfaction for dietitians were examined with a Chi2 (p = 0.000), Pearson r correlation (r = 0.271, p = 0.000), and positive linear regression (r2 = 0.070, p = 0.000). Significant findings reveal that dietitians possess increased levels of EI, a positive correlation exists between EI and burnout, and a positive correlation exists between EI and job satisfaction. Results may contribute to social change by highlighting the importance of EI in the field of dietetics to integrate EI in curriculum, encourage professional growth, and improve client outcomes.

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