Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Jeffrey Daniels

Committee Co-Chair

Christine Schimmel

Committee Member

Lisa Platt

Committee Member

Edward Baker


Rates of mental illness among incarcerated individuals in the United States are high and have been well documented. Correctional officers are on the front line of identifying symptoms and alerting mental health professionals to problems as they arise. Correctional officers often lack an understating of mental illness, feel ill-equipped to manage mental health crises, and experience high levels of job-related stress. The objective of this study was to better understand the relationship between correctional officers’ emotional intelligence and opinions about mental illness, and to identify if burnout moderated the relationship between the variables. Additionally, the study sought to understand the relationship between mental health training and emotional intelligence, and to identify if mental health training moderated the relationship between emotional intelligence and opinions about mental illness. One hundred and five correctional officers completed a survey containing the Schutte Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test, Opinions About Mental Illness Scale, Copenhagen Burnout Inventory, and a demographic questionnaire. Results of the study found that OMI does not significantly predict SSEIT. When accounting for OMI, CBI independently predicts SSEIT, indicating that as burnout increases, levels of emotional intelligence also increase. Burnout was not found to moderate the relationship between OMI and SSEIT. Further analyses indicated that mental health training does not significantly predict SSEIT, and that mental health training does not moderate the relationship between OMI and SSEIT. The results of this study have implications for understanding correctional officer experiences and providing them with resources to effectively work with inmates who suffer from mental illness.