Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


The study examined modes of conflict resolution present in a sample of missionaries as well as relationships between modes of conflict resolution and demoqraphic characteristics. Additionally, relationships between modes of conflict resolution and burnout were investigated along with the relationships between levels of burnout and sample demographic characteristics. The instruments utilized with the sample of 150 missionaries included an individual data form, the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Management-of-Differences Instrument (the MODE), and the Staff Burnout Scale for Missionary Personnel (SBS-MP), an adaptation of the Staff Burnout Scale for Health Professionals (SBS-HP) by Jones. The conflict management mode of Avoiding was the most frequently selected mode. Correlational analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to relate modes of conflict resolution to continuous demographic variables. None of the analyses showed significant differences between modes. Chi-square analysis were conducted on the categorical demographic variables in relationship to mode; only the gender variable showed a significant relationship. Females chose the Avoiding mode more than males. ANOVA was calculated using the SBS-MP as the dependent variable and the preferred mode as the independent variable. Results showed no relationship between preferred modes and the SBS-MP. ANOVA was also computed on the categorical demographic variables, and Pearson correlations were calculated for continuous variables. Significant relationships were found between age, years of service and/or candidacy status and burnout scores. Older missionaries had lower stress scores than younger missionaries. Time in candidacy was positively related to stress for missionary candidates. Significant relationships were found between burnout scores and knowledge of conflict management skills and stress management skills. caution should be exercised in interpreting data from the mode scores which are interdependent. The study supports the notion that missionaries predominantly avoid conflict. Lack of knowledge about how to manage conflict and stress correlate positively with higher stress.

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