Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Using an individual and dispositional approach, the current study examined the relationship between personality (as conceptualized using the Big Five personality variables) and burnout when accounting for the stress and affectivity as mediators. Participants included 152 (140 females, 92.1%) Applied Behavior Analyst (ABA) tutors ages 20-63 (M = 27.84, SD = 6.48) who worked with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders and who spent the majority of their work hours each week in a center-based ABA program. Participants across the United States completed the survey online, while one autism center located in the Midwest completed the survey in-person with the principal investigator. Bivariate correlations and the PROCESS macro were conducted to address the central research aims of the study. The current study supports the direct association between personality and burnout, as well as the indirect effect through stress and affectivity. The PROCESS analyses revealed direct effects between the personality variable of Neuroticism and the burnout variables of both Emotional Exhaustion (EE) and Depersonalization (DP). The personality variables of Neuroticism and Extraversion shared an indirect effect with all three burnout variables (EE, DP, and reduced Personal Accomplishment (PerA)). The personality variable of Agreeableness had a significant direct effect with DP. In addition, the personality variables of Agreeableness and Conscientiousness shared an indirect effect with the burnout variables of EE and DP, but not PerA. The current study’s findings have important clinical implications for hiring practices, as well as prevention and intervention efforts to reduce burnout among ABA tutors.