Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Robert A. DiTomasso PhD

Second Advisor

Stephen Poteau PhD

Third Advisor

Robert Cuzzolino EdD


Psychology graduate students are tasked with finding a balance between academic responsibilities, clinical training, home life, time constraints, and financial concerns. These competing demands lead to stress, which is well documented in medical students with similar workloads, but understudied in psychology graduate students. Previous studies indicate that perceived stress can be linked to prevalence of an individual’s cognitive distortions. Additionally, stress within the human service fields often leads to burnout. Self-care is widely recognized as a preventative effort against developing burnout. However, as students have limited time, they may find engaging in self-care activities to be difficult. The purpose of the current study was to demonstrate the relationship between stress, cognitive distortions, and self-care and their ability to predict burnout in psychology graduate students. Results demonstrated that these constructs are correlated and predictive of two of the three components of burnout, emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Additionally, time constraints and financial concerns were identified as the two largest stressors for psychology graduate students. These findings provide insight into the experience of psychology graduate students, and recommendations are offered to improve their well-being.