Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Burnout, Correctional Officers, Salutogenesis, Civility Climate, Coworker Support

Major Advisor

Robert Henning

Associate Advisor

Vicki Magley

Associate Advisor

Nicholas Warren

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Past research aimed at understanding what contributes to burnout, absenteeism, and poor physical health in correctional officers has had what can be referred to as a pathogenic focus because it attempted to identify what factors increased these negative outcomes. Researchers have recently suggested that to fully understand where individuals end up on the ease/disease continuum it is pertinent to understand not only the harmful factors but also factors that lead to positive outcomes through a process known as a salutogenesis. The current research addresses this shortcoming by developing a salutogenic model of burnout, absenteeism and physical health in correctional officers by focusing on the positive relationships correctional officers have with their coworkers, namely coworker instrumental support and civility climate, as well as their own sense of coherence, which can be considered a form of individual resilience. In addition to building a salutogenic model of burnout, absenteeism, and physical health in correctional officers, the current research also explored the possible interactive effects of coworker instrumental support and civility climate on these same outcomes. Survey data from 328 correctional employees were analyzed with structural equation modeling to examine the relationships among coworker instrumental support, civility climate, sense of coherence, and burnout, absenteeism and physical health. Results suggest that increases in coworker instrumental support, civility climate and sense of coherence are all related to decreased burnout in correctional officers. In addition, the results suggest that coworker instrumental support and civility climate interact and impact experiences of burnout. Correctional officers with the highest burnout had high civility climate but low coworker instrumental support, whereas correctional officers with the lowest burnout had both high civility climate and high coworker instrumental support. The current findings emphasize the importance of addressing coworker instrumental support in conjunction with civility climate while also focusing on individual resilience. Implications for recruitment, job design and training possibilities, as well as study limitations and future research directions are discussed.