Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, James E.

Committee Member

Olinzock, Anthony

Committee Member

Campbell, Charles

Committee Member

Wiseman, M. William

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


This quantitative survey study examined stress/burnout and job satisfaction in a sample of 108 social workers in rural Mississippi using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and Abridged Job Description Index (AJDI). The research examined the prevalence of stress/burnout among mental health social workers employed with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. The research focused primarily on the relationship between burnout and job satisfaction and the degree to which levels of burnout and satisfaction were associated with demographic characteristics. Results of this study showed that 36.1% of respondents reported a high level of emotional exhaustion, 6.5% reported high levels of depersonalization, and 27.8% reported high level of personal accomplishment. Multiple dimensions of job satisfaction were found to be associated with burnout; emotional exhaustion was a particularly strong predictor of low job satisfaction. No significant differences in burnout and job satisfaction were found between men and women. Levels of burnout and job satisfaction were not related significantly to respondents’ age, marital status, or years of experience. Bachelor-level social workers scored higher on both emotional exhaustion and depersonalization than Masters-level social workers. A significant difference between African-Americans and Caucasians was found for general job satisfaction. Social worker certification, years of social work experience, and education level were related significantly to satisfaction with opportunities for promotion. Caseload was associated with differential levels of job satisfaction, but not in a simple linear pattern: the lowest levels of job satisfaction were found among social workers with moderate caseloads (21-30 clients).