Purdue University Graduate School
Muth_Thesis Final.pdf (1.02 MB)

Understanding the Mental Health Needs of Restaurant Employees

Download (1.02 MB)
posted on 2020-08-05, 19:06 authored by Andrew Joseph MuthAndrew Joseph Muth, Michelle Salyers, Tamika Zapolski, Jane Williams

The restaurant industry is one of the largest in the United States, and employees within this industry deal with poor working conditions on a daily basis. Despite this, there has been a surprising dearth of research to understand the mental health needs of these workers. The aims of this study were to establish a prevalence of burnout and depression, and understand the relationships between these two outcomes with the constructs of bullying, perfectionism, and social support. To do so, restaurant workers (N=453) were recruited to complete an on-line survey. Results revealed a high prevalence of depressive symptoms and an overextended profile of burnout. Both bullying and perfectionism displayed significant positive relationships with depression and burnout, while social support demonstrated significant negative relationships with burnout and depression. When analyzed in a three-way interaction, social support failed to significantly moderate the effects of bullying and perfectionism on depression and burnout. Results indicate that depression and burnout are serious concerns among restaurant workers. Additionally, bullying and perfectionism are promising targets to consider in future research as mechanisms leading to depression and burnout among restaurant workers.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Psychological Sciences

Campus location

  • Indianapolis

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Michelle Salyers

Additional Committee Member 2

Tamika Zapolski

Additional Committee Member 3

Jane Williams