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Dissertation Abstract

The Relationship between Occupational Burnout and Emotional IntelligenceAmong Clergy or Professional Ministry Workers

S. Joel Palser
Regent University

The theoretical relationship between occupational burnout of clergy and emotional intelligence was studied by correlation design in this study. Clergy attrition by burnout and failure currently exceeds other human service professionals. This quantitative leadership study, an interdisciplinary research dissertation, supplies Christian leaders with a new methodological approach and a refined analytical process in addressing clergy attrition or burnout through a potential correlation between the theories of burnout and emotional intelligence. The non-experimental research design utilized a purposive sample, N = 101. Diverse clergy participants of southeastern Virginia completed a modified Maslach, Jackson, and Leiter (1996) Burnout Inventory (MBI) and the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso (2002) Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). Canonical correlation yielded marginal support (p = .057) between the two theoretical constructs. However, bivariate analysis produced two significant correlations (p = < .05) between emotional exhaustion (EE) and sense of personal achievement (PA) of the MBI and facilitating emotional thought (FT) and understanding emotions (UE) of the MSCEIT. Additionally, gender and ethnicity were shown to be significant moderating variables, though age was not. This study contributes quantitative analysis to clergy research, expands the model of Mendes (2002), and successfully demonstrates the first utilization of the MSCEIT paired with the MBI. The ability-based school of emotional intelligence theory of Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso, infuses current burnout theory by C. Maslach.