Professional burnout among U.S. full-time university faculty: Implications for worksite health promotion

Date
2009-05-30
Authors
Crosmer, Janie Lynn
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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine factors which predict professional burnout among university full-time faculty who are employed in traditional, virtual, public and private institutions in the United States. Differences in professional burnout scores by age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, tenured status, type of university, academic discipline, primary mode of class delivery (online vs. face to face), number and type of courses taught, degree type, job title and the number of students advised will be assessed. Four hundred and eleven full-time university professors currently employed in the United States were surveyed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey (MBI-ES). Descriptive statistics, cross-tabulations, frequencies and measures of central tendency were performed to analyze the demographic data and item responses. Stepwise multiple regression models were performed to predict whether age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, tenured status, type of university, academic discipline, primary mode of class delivery, number and type of courses taught, degree type, job title and the number of students advised were predictors of professional burnout. The predictor, other university title, was significant in predicting emotional exhaustion; advising between 15 and 250 graduate students, was a significant predictor for depersonalization and age was a significant predictor for personal accomplishment. Older ages had greater scores on personal accomplishment, meaning that as faculty age, burnout actually decreases. MANOVA tests were performed to examine the effects of the dependent variables on emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment. Significant MANOVA findings from this study revealed that there were differences in burnout scores among full-time university faculty for age, gender and tenure. The goal of this research was to contribute empirical research to the fields of worksite health promotion and higher education, as well as to develop relevant worksite health education strategies for this population. The results of this study not only add to the limited research already in existence relating to burnout among higher education faculty, but they serve as a needs assessment for worksite health. Health educators along with human resource and higher education administration can work together to reduce burnout and increase support for this population.

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Education, Psychology, Burnout, Faculty burnout, United States, University, Worksite health promotion
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