Date of Conferral







Gwynne Dawdy


The current nursing shortage is a pressing crisis that is expected to worsen over time. A key reason nurses leave nursing is burnout. The purpose of this study was to investigate personality hardiness and adult attachment style in relation to the development of burnout in licensed professional nurses. Hardiness theory and attachment theory indicated that each provided protection against burnout, but no research has been conducted to examine both factors in relation to burnout in nurses. Research Question 1 asked if there was a relationship between attachment style and total hardiness score; Research Question 2 asked if there was a relationship between attachment style and each of the hardiness facet scores (commitment, control, and challenge), and Research Question 3 asked if hardiness and attachment style had a combined impact on burnout scores. An online invitation was published on Facebook and linked to the study; 128 nurses agreed to participate in this survey. Participants provided demographic information, they completed the Dispositional Resilience Scale-Revised (DRS-15) to measure total hardiness and hardiness facet scores, the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-R) to measure attachment-related anxiety and avoidance, and the Burnout Measure, Short Version (BMS) to measure burnout. The data was analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA), a Kruskal-Wallis H test, and a post-hoc multiple regression. Findings confirmed that secure attachment was associated with higher total hardiness, commitment was significant to attachment, and hardiness and attachment scores each contributed to burnout, but an interaction was not found. This study has implications for positive social change: more effective burnout prevention programs for nurses are needed to help limit the nursing shortage.