Date of Conferral

2018

Degree

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

School

Public Health

Advisor

Chester Jones

Abstract

The stressful nature of deploying to a disaster makes it necessary for a good emergency manager to be capable of coping in high-pressure situations. When intensified by extended work hours, deployments can often lead to burnout, job strain, and emotional stress, which can have a significant impact on an employee's well-being. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of burnout and perceived stress amongst emergency managers working for FEMA and to determine if social support was an effective intervention. The theoretical foundation used for this study was the job demandsâ??resources theory, which aided in understanding, explaining, and predicting the well-being of employees, job performance, and organizational outcomes. The key research questions included to what extent do psychological job demands predict burnout, to what extent does the perception of stress lead to feeling burnout, and to what extent does peer support affect burnout. A quantitative correlational design utilizing secondary data from the Work, Family and Health Network was performed (N = 4,776). Results from linear regression found a relationship between psychological job demands and feeling burned out as well as a relationship between perceived stress and feeling burned out, as experienced by emergency managers. The model did not support a significant relationship between peer support and burnout. The social change implications include advancing the understanding of the stressful nature of deployments and stress from the psychological demands of the job that often leads to burnout. This study can be a resource to create and implement training programs for burnout prevention, and as a tool illustrating how to care for and support colleagues while also assisting disaster survivors.

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