Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Counselor Education and Supervision

Department or School/College

College of Education and Human Sciences

Committee Chair

Veronica Johnson

Commitee Members

Sara Polanchek, Kirsten Murray, Emily Sallee, Daniel Lee


compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, emotional intelligence, professional quality of life, school counseling, self-advocacy


University of Montana


School counselors are integral to the holistic success of students and are needed now more than ever as high rates of youth mental health issues, traumatic events at schools and global crises have become part of every school year. Unfortunately, as with most helping professions, many school counselors are struggling with maintaining a healthy professional quality of life due to chronic stress work environments. School counselors who have higher levels of compassion fatigue (burnout and secondary traumatic stress) and lower levels of compassion satisfaction are more likely to have decreased quality of care for students, decreased self-efficacy, decreased overall wellbeing and, ultimately, a higher rate of attrition from the profession (Baggerly & Osborn, 2006; Culbreth, Scarborough, Banks-Johnson, & Solomon, 2005; Kim & Lambie, 2018).

In an effort to better understand how to prevent compassion fatigue and promote compassion satisfaction in school counselors, this study examined trait emotional intelligence (TEIQue) and school counselor self-efficacy (SCSA) in relation to the professional quality of life subscales. A sample of 194 practicing school counselors in the United States completed an online survey consisting of: a demographic questionnaire; the Professional Quality of Life Scale, Version 5 (Stamm, 2010); the Trait Emotional Intelligence Short Form (Petrides, 2009); and the School Counselor School Counselor Self-Advocacy Questionnaire (Clemens, Shipp & Kimbel, 2011) in early 2020. Findings revealed positive significant relationships between the independent variables, TEIQue and SCSA, and compassion satisfaction; and negative significant relationships between the independent variables and the components of compassion fatigue, burnout and secondary traumatic stress. Regression analyses established that TEIQue and SCSA interact to significantly predict the components of professional quality of life (ProQOL) and that TEIQue is a unique contributor to all three ProQOL subscales. A discussion of the results is presented along with implications for school counseling professionals and future directions for research.



© Copyright 2020 Kindle Dawn Lewis