Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Nathan Bowling (Committee Member), Gary Burns (Advisor), Joseph Houpt (Committee Member), David LaHuis (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Burnout is a syndrome-composed of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment-resulting from chronic stress. The Maslach Burnout Inventory - Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS; Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996) is the most popular measure of burnout. Unfortunately, the MBI-HSS has flaws including highly correlated traits and low subscale reliabilities. I tested a bifactor model for the MBI-HSS based on the work by Meszaros, Adam, Svabo, Szigeti, and Urban (2014) using item response theory. Bifactor models specify a general factor that underlies all the items within a scale and specific factors that underlie the subscale items; also, all factors are orthogonal. I found that the bifactor model had superior fit to the traditional correlated traits. A method for decomposing item and test information in multidimensional item response theory is also introduced along with a new method of displaying the test information. Finally, I provide the scoring recommendation that only the general burnout dimension for the MBI-HSS should be reported as the subscales are unreliable.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.