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ERIC Number: ED556578
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 201
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-0472-7
The Moderating Effect of Personality Traits on Advisor Relationships in Predicting Doctoral Student Burnout
Kosh, Emily P.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Personality affects relationships. During the doctoral education, the second most important factor in degree completion, after financial support, is the student-advisor relationship. Approximately half of doctoral students do not finish their degrees. While it is known mentors have a profound impact on the success of doctoral students, the effect mentors have on student burnout is unknown. This study explored the relationship between advisor and the students' Big Five personality traits of agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism and openness in predicting burnout in United States based doctoral students. Data was obtained from electronic self-administered questionnaires consisting of the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey (MBI-SS), the Advisor Working Alliance Inventory-revised (AWAI-r), the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) and a short descriptive questionnaire. From the convenience sample, the resulting effective sample size was 116. This quantitative study was non-experimental and correlational. Using theory based hierarchical multiple regression, the predictor (alliance), moderator (personality), and the interaction term (alliance x personality) were regressed onto the criterion (the three components of burnout). The personality traits that were successful moderators were: agreeableness, extraversion, and neuroticism. The personality trait of agreeableness significantly moderated the positive relationship between advisor and the academic/professional component of burnout, F(3, 106) = 6.39, p < 0.05. This was notable because the hypothesis was examined expecting a negative relationship, yet a positive one was observed. The personality trait of extraversion significantly moderated the negative relationship between advisor and the exhaustion component of burnout, F(3, 108) = 4.62, p < 0.05. Also the personality trait neuroticism significantly moderated the positive relationship of the academic/profession inefficacy component of burnout, F(3, 108) = 6.00, p < 0.05. The two personality traits of conscientiousness and openness were not significant moderators. By examining burnout in terms of advisor relationship while moderating the effects of the Big Five personality traits, greater understanding of doctoral burnout was achieved. This study built upon the limited theory by establishing a stronger connection to the trait approach in personality-relevant constructs as well as practical application of college administrators seeking to reduce the high attrition rate of doctoral students, thereby using academic resources more effectively. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Maslach Burnout Inventory