Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A preliminary investigation of an acceptance and commitment therapy values intervention to increase response rates and decrease burnout in volunteer firefighters
by Newman, Christine M., Ph.D., Hofstra University, 2016, 115; 10108662
Abstract (Summary)

Volunteerism has been relied upon by many organizations. Unfortunately, for communities that rely on volunteers to run a fire department, the rate of volunteering has declined significantly. Previous researchers have suggested that psychological burnout leads to a decrease in desirable behaviors, however, there has been no data examining burnout in volunteer firefighters. Researchers have suggested there are relationships between personality traits and volunteering behavior, as well as personal values and volunteering behavior.

The current study was designed to identify relationships between response rates to fire calls and personality traits, as well personal values. Also, the present study examined the efficacy of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focused values intervention to increase the response rates of volunteer firefighters to fire calls as well as decrease burnout. Volunteers from multiple fire departments across Long Island, NY were recruited for participation (n = 40). Subjects completed a demographics questionnaire, the Portrait Values Questionnaire, the Big Five Inventory, and the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey. Subjects participated in an activity aimed at clarifying their personal value of being a volunteer firefighter. The data were analyzed to determine the efficacy of the values intervention.

It was hypothesized that volunteers who participated in the values intervention would have an increase in response rate, as well as a decrease in burnout as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory. The researcher also investigated whether or not personality traits have a mediational effect on burnout and response rate.

Results demonstrated that following ACT-focused values intervention response rate to fire calls significantly increased and scores on the Cynicism and Exhaustion subscales of the Maslach Burnout Inventory significantly decreased. Also, results showed significant relationships between the personality traits of Extraversion, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness and response rates, however, failed to show a relationship between personal values and response rates.

Future research could examine the efficacy of a more comprehensive ACT intervention on response rates and burnout in various first responders. Future researchers might consider the development of a protocol to decrease burnout among first responders. Also, future research should examine the predictive ability of personality traits on first responder behavior.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Barnes, Michael J., O'Brien, Richard M.
Commitee: Dill, Charles A., Schare, Mitchell L., Ward-Ciesielski, Erin
School: Hofstra University
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 77/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology
Keywords: Burnout, Firefighters, Response rates, Values
Publication Number: 10108662
ISBN: 978-1-339-72003-6
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