Date of Conferral







Matthew Fearrington


While the majority of studies appeared to focus on health service workers and job satisfaction, there was a substantial lack of literature that explored the relationship of personality traits and burnout specific to behavioral health professionals. Research has indicated that behavioral health professional burnout is a mediating factor in early job exodus primarily due to highly interactive work with people. The purpose of this study was to consider the relationship between behavioral health professional burnout, as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory for Health and Human Service workers, and the big five personality traits, as measured by the NEO Five Factor Inventory. This multiple regression study evaluated 305 behavioral health professionals who were currently licensed and practicing in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Ohio. Results of the study yielded a significant correlation between behavioral health professional burnout and personality traits. The more extraverted, open, agreeable, and conscientious behavioral health professionals are, the less likely they are to experience burnout. The more narcissistic behavioral health professionals are, the more likely they are to experience burnout. In addition, age significantly correlated to behavioral health professional burnout. As age increased, burnout potential decreased. The implications for social change include potential use at the organizational level to implement policy changes, such as regular or preburnout screenings, in order to prevent early exodus from the behavioral health field and increase positive patient outcomes.