Date of Conferral







Hannah Lerman


Burnout is a psychological syndrome caused by occupational stress, which often manifests in mental health professionals who experience demanding and emotionally charged relationships with clients. Guided by the equity theory, this study examined the relationship between spiritual transcendence and burnout in psychologists and social workers who work with severely mentally ill patients after accounting for specific personality traits. Constructs were measured via the Spiritual Transcendence scale (STS), Maslach Burnout inventory (MBI), and the NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). Sixty eight psychologists and social workers were selected from psychiatric hospitals, community centers, and private practice in Nevada to participate in the study. A quantitative approach using hierarchical regression was used for statistical analysis. The results suggest that, after controlling for the NEO-FFI scales, STS was not significantly related to burnout. The results also suggest that, as the personality factor of neuroticism increases, burnout rates also increase and as the personality factors of extraversion and agreeableness increase, burnout tends to decrease. The social change implication of this research is identifying personality factors that contribute to, or are protective factors of, burnout. For example, individuals who score high on neuroticism scales can be aware of their susceptibility to burnout, and those with high scores on agreeableness and extraversion can be conscientious of those factors and potentially put protective factors in place. These findings are beneficial to employers of mental health professionals, program developers, and mental health professionals themselves.