Transformational Leadership Moderates the Relationship Between Emotional Exhaustion and Turnover Intention Among Community Mental Health Providers
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Public sector mental health care providers are at high risk for burnout and emotional exhaustion which negatively affect job performance and client satisfaction with services. Few studies have examined ways to reduce these associations, but transformational leadership may have a positive effect. We examine the relationships between transformational leadership, emotional exhaustion, and turnover intention in a sample of 388 community mental health providers. Emotional exhaustion was positively related to turnover intention, and transformational leadership was negatively related to both emotional exhaustion and turnover intention. Transformational leadership moderated the relationship between emotional exhaustion and turnover intention, indicating that having a transformational leader may buffer the effects of providers’ emotional exhaustion on turnover intention. Investing in transformational leadership development for supervisors could reduce emotional exhaustion and turnover among public sector mental health providers.
KeywordsEmotional exhaustion Burnout Turnover Leadership Mental health services
This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health grants R01MH072961, R21MH082731, K01MH001695 (PI: Aarons) and P30MH074678 (PI: Landsverk). We thank the organizations, supervisors, and service providers that participated in the study and made this work possible.
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