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.
|Commitee:||Melagrano, Ralph, Stoner, Susan|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Management, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Burnout, Differentiation of self, Stress|
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