Date of Award

Spring 1993

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Edward S. Neukrug

Committee Member

William G. Cunningham

Committee Member

Wolgang Pindur

Committee Member

Robert Lucking


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the construct validity of the Cynicism Scale, a content scale of the MMPI-2, using cognitive appraisal as the theoretical framework. It was predicted that cynical chemical dependency counselors would report more symptoms of burnout, as well as more frequent and severe daily stressors. A respondent group of 247 members of a statewide organization returned research packets out of a sample of 464 (53.3%). Compared to non-cynical counselors, moderately cynical counselors reported more symptoms of burnout. They also reported more overall coping, although not always as predicted by theory for specific types of coping, as well as more frequent and severe daily stressors. The results are discussed in terms of implications for further research, as well as the practice of chemical dependency counseling. Future research could include a replication of the study with a nationwide sample of counselors, as well as cross-validation using other types of measurement such as participant observation. In terms of practice, the findings are related to supervision, in-service training and alternative treatment models.