The measurement of burnout in prison counselors using the Counselor Burnout Inventory: A confirmatory factor analysis and Structural Equation Modeling study
The prison environment produces unique challenges and situations for counselors. Counselors who work in the prison system are faced with problems related to both the broad nature of their job duties and the specificity of the population that they serve. The purpose of this study is to explore prison counselors' experienced burnout and to test whether they report burnout, when using the Counselor Burnout Inventory (CBI), similarly to how other counselors have. The Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS) and the CBI were completed by 86 counselors who work in various prisons within the southwest United States. Data collected using these measures were subjected to confirmatory factor analysis on the CBI. To estimate convergent and discriminant validity evidence, inter-factor correlations between the CBI scales and corresponding scales on the Maslach scale were examined. To test hypotheses regarding variation across specific demographic groups in levels of counselor burnout, rates of burnout reported for the counselors were compared for mean score differences across genders, and groups differentiated by prior experience, age and race. Finally, Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) procedures were used to test a hypothesized pattern of structural relationships between the subscales predicting client devaluing from other aspects of counselor burnout. The findings reveal consistent validity evidence for the CBI, both in terms of construct, convergent and discriminant validity. SEM results also supported the predicted relationships between several subscales of the CBI suggesting that intrapersonal dimensions of burnout may culminate in interpersonal experience of devaluing clients. However, none of the hypothesized differences across demographic groups were statistically significant. Limitations include non-random sampling, small sample size, and response rate variation.