Date of Conferral







Maria van Tilburg


Burnout is the response to prolonged emotional, situational, and interpersonal stress of one's job. Direct care staff, who work with challenging populations, are at increased risk for burnout. Maslach's and Leiter's multidimensional model of burnout posits that the relationship between an individual and his or her occupation leads to either engagement or burnout. This study aimed to determine if the associations between the 6 areas of worklife (workload, control, community, reward, fairness, and values) and the 3 aspects of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment) identified in this model are moderated by age and gender. The study included 117 direct care staff who completed self-administered online questionnaires. Linear regression analyses indicated that workload was positively and reward negatively associated with emotional exhaustion. Age moderated the associated between workload and emotional exhaustion. An increase in workload was associated with increased emotional exhaustion more so for older than younger employees. Values and reward were negatively associated with depersonalization and community and values were positively associated with personal accomplishment. Age and gender did not moderate any of these associations. These findings suggest that burnout is highly complex, but age and gender do not seem to change the association between work areas and burnout to a large degree. Additional research is needed to determine the role of other demographic factors in burnout. The social change implications include the significance of understanding ways to reduce burnout, increase engagement, and provide support and training for employees based on individual characteristics.

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