Foerder, Preston; Cunningham, Christopher J. L.
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
The present study was designed to identify the impacts of stressors experienced by animal caretakers within zoos, aquariums, and shelters. To analyze these impacts, I administered a survey to individuals within this population which assessed interactions with environmental, social, and financial stressors for animal caretakers in relation to engagement and burnout. In total, 112 animal caretakers participated in the study. Results supported that physical stressors were most commonly encountered within the workforce, but coworker conflict was the only stressor to have consistent significant effects on burnout and engagement. Specifically, more coworker conflict was associated with more burnout and less engagement. In terms of resources, safety climate and work centrality were not found to moderate the effects of stressors on any outcomes. Based on these results, interventions may need to focus on addressing coworker conflict, as well as stressors unique to these occupations that are harder to capture with traditional measures.
This acknowledgement goes first to my thesis chair, Dr. Kristen Black. Her support and guidance helped me navigate the obstacles that come along with completing a thesis. I would also like to thank Dr. Preston Foerder and Dr. Chris Cunningham for their feedback and support with this project. I would additionally like to thank my fiancé Damon Behel for supporting my work and giving me the foundational idea for this project. Lastly, I owe the deepest of gratitude towards my family, who have always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and supported me through life’s stressful moments.
M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.
Animal specialists; Burn out (Psychology); Work environment
x, 64 leaves.
Burns, Destiny, "Working with wildlife: the effects of stressors and resources on burnout and engagement for animal caretakers" (2020). Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.