This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Examining the Relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Employee Engagement, and Burnout: A Comparison of Administrative Officers, Criminal Investigators and Patrol Officers in Law Enforcement




Stewart, Clarence

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


Law enforcement has evolved from ineffective watch groups to police agencies that incorporate advanced technology and problem-solving strategies (Herder, 2013; Johnson, 1981). However, for law enforcement officers to effectively protect and serve the public, they should manage their emotions and understand others' emotions and use this knowledge to guide their thinking, action, and decision-making. This study examined the relationship among administrative officers, criminal investigators, and patrol officers’ emotional intelligence traits as measured by the Assessing Emotions (SSEIT) Scale (Schutte, Malouff, & Bhullar, 2009). The study also explored the relationship between engagement as measured by the Work and Well-being Survey (UWES) and burnout as measured by the Professional Quality of Life Scale (PROQOL) Version 5 (2009). A sample population of 335 law enforcement professionals in the United States participated in the study. Analyses of the data were conducted using multiple linear regressions. Results found that age acted as a predictor of EI, burnout, and engagement. This study indicated that age and emotional intelligence influenced employee engagement and burnout. Additionally, the results indicated that class had a moderation effect on emotional intelligence and its relationship to employee engagement and burnout. Burnout is a risk for the law enforcement profession, and there is a need to implement protective factors to decrease the risk of burnout within members of the law enforcement profession.