Feeling the Burn: A Dissertation in Practice on Occupational Burnout

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership


Department of Educational Administration


James Olive


Previous research has shown that high rates of burnout in human service industries can lead to undesirable outcomes for both behavioral health companies and their clientele (Morse et al., 2012; Thomas et al., 2014). The current study investigates the potential sources of employee burnout among behavioral health professionals in the community-based program at ABS Transitions (ABST), a mid-sized community mental health company in Cincinnati, OH. Utilizing an explanatory sequential mixed methods design, quantitative data were collected using an established burnout survey, The Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS; Maslach & Jackson, 2019). In the second phase of the study, qualitative data were collected through structured interviews with participants in order to discover the company-specific symptoms of burnout at ABST. The final section provides a Logic Model for burnout reduction program at ABST, including the stakeholders, resources, and organizational interventions based on Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) principles. The results of the study and the discussion of the findings, recommendations for extensions and future avenues for research, are provided.


Behavioral Psychology, Organizational Behavior, applied behavior analysis (ABA), behavioral health, burnout, mixed methods research, organizational behavior management (OBM)

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2022, author.