Date of Conferral







Silvia Bigatti


AbstractAlthough there is an abundance of literature on the relationship between burnout and coping styles among providers, this study explored the gap in research about the relationship of these factors to help seeking attitudes. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between burnout, coping styles and attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help among a sample of 76 human service providers, guided by cognitive appraisal theory. Burnout in participants who work at a state psychiatric hospital in Texas was measured using the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Coping styles were measured using the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations which measures task-, emotion-, and avoidance-oriented coping styles. Help seeking attitudes were measured by the Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Help Scale. It was hypothesized that burnout would be related to maladaptive coping styles, emotion- and avoidance-oriented coping, and that the participants who mostly used these maladaptive coping styled would be less willing to seek help when experiencing burnout. The first hypothesis was partially supported by the data; emotion-oriented coping was correlated to burnout. Most participants reported using task-oriented coping, the adaptive coping style; therefore, the second hypothesis could not be tested for lack of sufficient sample size. By educating state employers and employees of burnout factors and coping styles this study could promote positive social change efforts to address the health of employees as well as the clients served. State employers could also offer education, counseling, or other on-site benefits that could potentially reduce burnout by encouraging more positive coping and help-seeking options.