Burnout in paraprofessionals working with individuals with disabilities

Richard G Smith, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This research investigates the burnout levels of a group of paraprofessionals (N=63) working with individuals with disabilities in Tennessee using the Maslach Burnout Inventory – Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS). Six focus groups (two from each of the three grand regions of Tennessee) were held and administered the MBI-HSS. Comparisons with the published norms of the MBI-HSS and the subjects in this study yielded significant differences the dimensions of Personal Accomplishment and Depersonalization but not Emotional Exhaustion. Comparisons between the subjects from each of the three grand regions of Tennessee using regression analysis revealed differences on the dimension of Emotional Exhaustion, but not on Depersonalization or Personal Accomplishment.^ The subjects were asked the following three questions: Why did you first start working with people with disabilities? What has worked or not worked for you in your job? How have any of these things affected your job performance? An audio recording of each of six sessions was transcribed and analyzed using Nvivo7. The analysis found that the subjects found the relationships with the people they supported and a sense of mission were important in keeping them working as paraprofessionals supporting individuals with disabilities. A sense of insiders and outsiders was also present with employees or other professionals from outside the immediate work group generally viewed as outsiders. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, General

Recommended Citation

Richard G Smith, "Burnout in paraprofessionals working with individuals with disabilities" (2009). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3389736.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3389736

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