Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Psychology

Committee Chair/Advisor

Taylor, Mary Anne

Committee Member

Britt , Thomas

Committee Member

Moore , Dewayne


Burnout among employees has personal and organizational consequences. Negative effects of burnout include lowered individual adjustment as well as disengagement from the organization. Given this, both psychologists and practitioners may benefit from understanding ways to decrease this factor among employees.
One organizational experience that has the potential to decrease burnout is mentoring. While the advantages of mentoring relationships for protŽgŽs are well-documented, this study examines the potentially beneficial effects of positive mentoring relationships for the mentor, focusing on the reduction of burnout as a dependent variable. While benefits of mentoring may lead to reduced burnout, recent research suggests that negative mentoring relationships have costs that could potentially exacerbate burnout. Given that past work shows these negative and positive mentoring experiences are relatively independent, separate hypotheses were proposed for positive and negative mentoring. Furthermore, we hypothesized that these experiences may have differential effects on each of the three burnout dimensions.
Generative concern and organizational support for mentoring we considered as moderators of the effects of mentoring on burnout. We hypothesized that the overall benefits of positive mentoring experiences on burnout are maximized when an individual is high in generative concern (Generativity X Positive Mentoring interaction). We also anticipated that the benefits of positive mentoring experiences are stronger when there is high organizational support for mentoring (Organizational Support X Positive Mentoring interaction). Conversely, when generative concern is low or when organizational support for mentoring is low, the beneficial impact of positive mentoring relationships on burnout may be diminished.
A field study looking at a sample of nurses was used to examine these effects. Small sample size may have contributed to a lack of significant findings for a relationship between positive and negative mentoring and burnout. Generativity appeared to be a more robust predictor and emerged as an important variable in this study. This variable differentiated mentors and nonmentors, predicted emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and moderated the relationship between both positive and negative mentoring and personal accomplishment. Organizational support for mentoring was also found to moderate the relationship between negative mentoring and personal accomplishment.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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