Date of Conferral
Dr. Richard Thompson
Burnout is a serious work related syndrome that is a result of exposure to chronic work stress. In addition to the consequences of burnout on the individual, the symptoms of burnout can adversely affect the organization, the clients the individual works with and the individual's close family and friends. The literature has focused on the history of burnout and the level of burnout experienced by various high stress occupations; however there has not been extensive research into the role personality traits play in burnout. The main research question of this study was to identify personality traits that are more susceptible to burnout among correctional workers. This research utilized the survey research method by having participants voluntarily complete a demographics form, the Maslach Burnout Inventory for Human Service Workers, and the Big Five Inventory.
Data was collected through an online questionnaire (N=169). Data was analyzed by correlation analysis and two step multiple regression using demographics and the individual components of burnout. The results suggested that individuals possessing the personality trait Neuroticism experienced high levels of Emotional Exhaustion and Depersonalization. The results also suggested that the length of years employed had no relationship to burnout. The study found that years worked, type of work and marital status on their own did not have any relationship with burnout; however when coupled with personality traits. The findings also showed that Neuroticism was the only personality trait that was associated with all three dimensions of burnout. These findings can assist organizations with identifying individuals in the field of corrections who may be predisposed to burnout and allow for early intervention. As a result, the interventions can lead to social change where individuals can be healthier, happier, more fulfilled and better able to protect and service the clients, the organization and the public.