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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Burnout and Stress in Child Protection Workers: The Moderating Role of Differentiation of Self
by Torres, Perlita, Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2016, 212; 10105308
Abstract (Summary)

This study examined the relationships among stress, differentiation of self (DoS), and burnout in Child Protection Services (CPS) workers. Bowen defined DoS as the capacity of an individual to modulate emotional responses, stay calm in the midst of crisis, maintain emotional responses in highly charged situations, maintain a coherent sense of self, and maintain balance between independence and closeness within relationships. This nonexperimental correlational and comparative study sought to determine whether stress predicts burnout when controlling for DoS and whether DoS moderates the relationship between stress and burnout. Furthermore, the study examined the differences between male and female as well as novice and veteran CPS workers’ level of stress, DoS, and burnout. Data from a sample of 243 CPS workers showed that stress significantly predicted burnout when controlling for DoS, and DoS did not significantly moderate the relationship between stress and burnout. The results also found that there are no significant differences between male and female, novice and veteran workers’ level of stress, DoS, and burnout. A major finding was that the overall model for the domains of burnout showed stress and DoS to significantly predict emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalization (DP), and personal accomplishment (PA). Stress significantly positively predicted EE (β = 0.56, t = 10.18, p < .001), whereas DoS significantly negatively predicted EE ( β = -0.18, t = -3.22, p = .001). Stress significantly positively predicted DP (β = 0.29, t = 4.53, p < .001), whereas DoS significantly negatively predicted DP (β = -0.24, t = -3.83, p < .001). Stress significantly negatively predicted PA (β = -0.24, t = -3.65, p < .001), whereas DoS significantly positively predicted PA ( β = 0.21, t = 3.17, p = .002). In other words, those who reported high stress tend to have high level of EE and DP, and reduced PA. Conversely, those who reported high DoS tend to have low level of EE and DP, and higher PA. Despite limitations, the study sheds new light on the relationship between DoS and burnout and indicates the need for further research on the explicit role of Dos in predicting burnout.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brizek, Michael
Commitee: Melagrano, Ralph, Stoner, Susan
School: Northcentral University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Management, Psychology, Residential Mental Health and Substance Abuse Facilities
Keywords: Burnout, Differentiation of self, Stress
Publication Number: 10105308
ISBN: 978-1-339-68794-0
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