Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Douglas C. Strohmer

Committee Member

Stephen Zanskas

Committee Member

Stephen Leierer

Committee Member

Ronnie Priest


ABSTRACT Smith, Mardi Michele. Ph.D. The University of Memphis. 08/2010. Psychologists Working with Trauma Victims: Do Coping Responses and Low Burnout Mediate the Relationship between Personality Traits and Job Satisfaction? Major Professor: Douglas C. Strohmer, Ph.D. There is increased need for medical and rehabilitation psychologists in the United States (United States Department of Veterans Affairs, 2008; U.S. Department of Labor, 2006). In order to meet the demands of all medical and rehabilitation settings, recruitment and retention of psychologists within these settings is important. Recruitment and retention efforts can be enhanced with knowledge about the kind of individual that is likely to be satisfied in these jobs, and by knowledge of particular strategies that target job satisfaction. General job satisfaction literature to date has suggested a strong relationship between personality traits and job satisfaction (Connolly & Viswesvaran, 2000; Iles & Judge, 2003; Judge, Heller, & Mount, 2002; Lent, Brown & Hackett, 1994). However, Lent (2008) has indicated that a direct link between personality traits and job satisfaction is likely too simplistic and the relationship is probably mediated by other variables. Extending upon Lent’s line of questioning, the major premise of this research was that the relationship between personality characteristics and job satisfaction for psychologists treating trauma victims in medical settings is likely mediated by two important variables, coping style and low burnout. Specifically, this study tested two models of mediated relationships linking personality traits with job satisfaction through coping responses and burnout.A national sample of 141 randomly selected psychologists belonging to the American Psychological Association (APA) who identified as having a doctoral degree, being in direct patient care, and working in Veterans Administration, general acute care, or rehabilitation hospitals served as the sample population, completing questionnaires regarding personality, coping, burnout and job satisfaction. Results indicated that overall, the sample of psychologists were largely satisfied in their jobs, exhibited low burnout, and were high in traits of Conscientiousness and low in traits of Neuroticism. The use of support coping was moderate. Statistical support was demonstrated for a model that suggests that the relationship linking personality traits with job satisfaction is mediated by low burnout but not coping responses. A fully mediated model linking personality traits with job satisfaction through low burnout with no direct relationship for personality traits best represented the results found from this sample of psychologists working in medical institutions with trauma clients.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.