Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Clark Campbell, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Christopher J. Koch, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Shirley Hanson


The purpose of this study was to examine the role of hardiness and spiritual well-being as moderators of burnout in a random sample of professional nurses in Oregon. The first hypothesis stated that higher levels of hardiness and spiritual well-being would be related to lower levels of burnout. A second hypothesis stated that existential well-being would be positively correlated with hardiness. The third hypothesis stated that age, years of experience, spiritual well-being and hardiness would be related to lower burnout. Hardiness and its components of commitment, challenge and control were measured by the Personal Views Survey II. Spiritual well-being, existential well-being and religious well-being were measured by the Spiritual Well-being Scale. The Maslach Burnout Inventory measured the burnout components of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment. A demographic form provided descriptive data of the participants. Results indicated that hardiness and spiritual wellbeing correlated negatively with emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and positively with personal accomplishment. Existential well-being correlated positively with hardiness and its components of control, challenge and commitment. Age, years of experience, spiritual wellbeing and hardiness explained 33% of the variance in emotional exhaustion scores and 21 % of the variance in depersonalization and personal accomplishment scores. Step-wise regression analysis showed that age of nurse, workplace support and commitment explained 46% of the variance in emotional exhaustion scores. Commitment, time with patients and workplace support explained 33% of the variance in depersonalization scores. Commitment and time with clients explained 27% of the variance in personal achievement scores. These findings suggest that hardiness and spiritual well-being serve as moderators of burnout. Age, years of experience, time spent with patients and workplace support should be considered as contributing factors in reducing burnout. Implications include the need to consider the role of existential significance in nurses' work and in the prevention and reduction of burnout. Provision of mentoring for young, less experienced nurses, time for involvement with people in workload assignments, and workplace support are suggested interventions.

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