Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

David Schuldberg

Commitee Members

Bryan Cochran, Carolyn Dewey


burnout, nursing, psychiatric nursing


University of Montana


The phenomenon of burnout is composed of feelings of low personal accomplishment, cynical attitudes, and negative self-evaluation and is considered a consequence of experiences at work (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996). Although employees in several different occupations are likely to experience burnout, nurses are considered to be a high-risk group (Miller, Reesor, McCarrey, & Leikin, 1995). Considering the amount of direct client contact that nurses have, it is important to consider ways in which we can protect this group from experiencing the effects of burnout. Leadership style of supervisors in the setting, and the way the institution fosters autonomy, appear to be environmental factors that may protect against burnout in nurses (Kanste, Kyngas, & Nikkila 2007; Mrayyan, 2003; Hanrahan, Aiken, McClaine, & Hanlon, 2010). However, more research examining these and other environmental protective factors needs to be conducted. The current study examined leadership style of supervisors in the participants’ work setting and work role autonomy as possible environmental protective factors to burnout in psychiatric nurses. Also, workload (measured two ways) was assessed as a possible moderator of the relationship between protective factors and burnout. Results demonstrated that leadership style and work role autonomy appear to be environmental factors that may protect against burnout in nurses. These data also suggest that workload potentially acts as a buffer between protective factors and the personal accomplishment and depersonalization components of burnout.



© Copyright 2010 Renee Madathil