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Burnout among adults in professional situations is well-known and widely described (Maslach, Schaufeli & Leiter 2001). According to Schauffeli et al. (2002) burnout syndrome is also found among university students. More recently, burnout has also been identified in high school student populations. The aim of this study is to explore current research concerning school-related burnout among high school students. Sixteen studies concerning school-related burnout and academic stress among high school students were reviewed. The review of these publications has highlighted a number of risk factors and mental health consequences concerning burnout in an adolescent population. Gaps regarding research in this field have also emerged, in particular the need for screening scales and repercussions on mental health. Implications for future studies include developing prevention with attention to feelings of self-efficacy and solution-oriented coping.
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Burnout among high school students: A literature review
Vera Walburg
Unité de Recherche Interdisciplinaire OCTOGONE E.A. 4156, Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche en Psychopathologie (CERPP) (Center for Research and Study of Psychopathology),
Université de Toulouse I ILe Mirail, 5 allées Antonio Machado, F-31058 Toulouse Cedex, France
Faculté libre des lettres et des Sciences Humaines, Institut Catholique de Toulouse (ICT), 31 rue de la Fonderie, BP 7012, F-31068 Toulouse-Cedex 7, France
abstractarticle info
Article history:
Received 1 September 2013
Received in revised form 29 January 2014
Accepted 25 March 2014
Available online 2 April 2014
High school
Risk factors
Mental health
Burnout among adults in professional situations is well-known and widely described (Maslach,Schaufeli & Leiter
2001). According to Schauffeli et al. (2002) burnout syndrome is also found among university students. More
recently, burnout has also been identied in high school student populations. The aim of this study is to explore
current research concerning school-related burnout among high school students. Sixteen studies concerning
school-related burnout and academic stress among high school students were reviewed. The review of these
publications has highlighted a number of risk factors and mental health consequences concerning burnout in
an adolescent population. Gaps regarding research in this eld have also emerged, in particular the need for
screening scales and repercussions on mental health. Implications for future studies include developing preven-
tion with attention to feelings of self-efcacy and solution-oriented coping.
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Several previous studies have been carried out concerning burnout among adults in
stressful work situations. According to Schaufeli, Martinez, Pinto, Salanova, and Backer
(2002) burnout was originally assumed to occur only in professions but recently it has
been extended to all activity domains. Burnout is dened as a three-dimensional con-
struct including exhaustion,cynicism or depersonalization, and inefcacy or reduced per-
sonal accomplishment (Maslach, Shaufeli, & Leiter, 2001). More precisely, exhaustion
involves feelings of strain and chronic fatigue. Cynicism consists of an indifferent or dis-
tant attitude toward work, losing interest in one's work, or not seeing work as meaning-
ful. And lack of professional efcacy refers to red uced feelings of competence,
achievement, and accomplishment. According to the results of these studies it should
be noted that burnout has important consequences on mental health among adults in
professional situations, such as higher risk for depr ession (Mutkins , Brown, &
Thosteinsson, 2011), low sel f-esteem (Eriksson, Engst röm, Starring, & Janson, 2011),
and a higher suicide risk (Pompili et al., 2010). The concept of burnout was extended
to university students, indeed Schaufeli et al. (2002) showed in their study, carried out
among 1661 undergraduate students from Spain, Portugal, and Netherlands that burnout
is inversely correlated touniversity engagement and performances, independent of coun-
try of origin. Recently, some research was published exploring burnout among secondary
and high school students (Salmela-Aro, Kiuru, & Nurmi, 2008; Salmela-Aro, Kiuru,
Pietikïnen, & Jokela, 2008; Silvar, 2001). As previously mentioned, burnout in adults in-
creases the risk of mental disorders such as depression, low self-esteem and a higher
risk of suicide; these disorders are a lso particularly highly prevalent in adolescents
(Costello, Erkanli, & Angold, 2006; Jiang, Perry, & Hesser, 2010; Orth, Robins, & Roberts,
2008). Given the importance of these disorders in adolescents it appears useful to exam-
ine the impact of burnout in a population of high school students. The purpose of this re-
view is rstly to synthesize existing research concerning risk factors and mental health
consequences already identied in the current research about academic stre ss and
school-related burnout; and secondly to highlight gaps of knowledge in this eld. The
procedural modalities for literature research will be presented followed by the review it-
self grouped according to three categories: 1) results providing a denition of school re-
lated stress and b urnout, 2) resear ch concerning risk fa ctors, and 3) menta l health
consequences. The concluding section of the article will provide a synthesis as well as
highlight considerations for further research.
2. Method
2.1. Literature search strategy
A computerized research of the literature through the EBSCO search
engine including the Pubmed, PsychINFO and Science Direct databases
was performed between June 2011 and December 2013 using the
term burnout,academic stress,adolescentsand high schools.
Reference lists of all identied publications were checked to retrieve
other relevant publications not identied by means of the computerized
2.2. Selection criteria
Studies that met the following criteria were included; 1) study ob-
jectives included describing burnout or academic stress among adoles-
cents, 2) publication was an original research article, 3) publication in
peer-reviewed journals, and 4) publication was written in English. The
described inclusion criteria were applied to the initial 80 hits. Sixteen
studies were selected for the review. The 64 studies not retained for
this review were excluded for the following reasons: 1) the publication
Children and Youth Services Review 42 (2014) 2833
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was not about school related stress or burnout 2) the publication con-
cerned other aspects of school maladjustments and 3) the publication
was a literature review. These studies were conducted between 2001
and 2013.
3. Research concerning burnout among high school students
3.1. Denition of burnout and academic stress in the literature
Referring to the transactional model (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984)
stress represents a physical and emotional state of being exhausted
and overwhelmed during which the demands exceed the internal
and external resources of an individual to cope with the situation.
Therefore, academic or school related stress refers to stress states
among students based on student statute or academic demands. Burn-
out concerns an emotional state of exhaustion, cynicism and deper-
sonalization engendered by an exposure to a high level of chronic
Ang and Huan (2006) in their study carried out in Singapore with
1108 adolescents (596 boys and 508 girls) aged from 12 to 18 with
mean age 14.33 (SD = 0.93), dened academic stress as chronic stress
feelings among students with high academic self-expectations or high
academic expectationsfrom others such as parents and teachers. A mul-
tiple regression analysisin four steps showed that depression was a par-
tial mediator between academic stress and suicidal ideations among
adolescents. Indeed, by including depressed mood in the model a previ-
ously established signicant relationship between academic stress and
suicidal ideations was signicantly reduced.
For Salmela-Aro, Kiuru, Leskinen, and Nurmi (2009) school-related
burnout is described as being composed of exhaustion due to school de-
mands, cynical and detached attitudes toward school, and feelings of in-
adequacy as a student. The same author also described burnout as a
continuous phenomenon of academic stress to major burnout. This
study was conducted with a total of 1418 participants (709 girls, 709
boys) from 13 post-comprehensive schools (6 upper secondary high
schools; 7 vocational schools), the mean age of participants was
16 years (SD = 1.73). The aim of this study was the goodness-of-tof
the three-factor model: exhaustion at school, cynicism toward the
meaning of school, and sense of inadequacy. The results indicate that
school burnout was best described by three positively correlating fac-
tors encountered in the school setting including: exhaustion, cynicism,
and inadequacy. Depression was associated with all three factors of
school burnout. Lower academic achievement and lower school en-
gagement encouraged more cynicism toward school and a sense of
Additional studies provided some indications for academic stress
and school-related burnout such as Yusoff (2010) who described aca-
demic stress as result ofinappropriate workloads or assignments, exam-
inations, and inappropriate treatment by teachers; or Kiuru, Aunola,
Nurmi, Leskinen, and Salmela-Aro (2008) who proposed that school-
related burnout is caused by a lack of t between student's internal re-
sources, school workload, personal expectations of school results, or
expectations held by teachers or parents. Silvar (2001) dened school-
related burnout as a consequence of excessive school demands, lack of
control, lack of recompenses for high achievement, lack of interpersonal
relationships, and high expectations from signicant others like teachers
and family members.
Thus, the literature provided a specicdenition of academic stress
and school-related burnout placed in the in the context of school envi-
ronment, differing sensibly from the adult context.
3.2. Risk factors
Some studies aimed to describe risk factors for burnout and academ-
ic stress. The longitudinal study conducted by Salmela-Aro, Kiuru, and
Nurmi (2008) with 773 participants (297 girls and 314 boys) observed
the evolution of burnout during the transition from comprehensive
school to senior high schools (vocational or academic-oriented). The
results show that adolescents in senior high schools (academic track)
experienced more exhaustion than those in vocational schools (profes-
sional track). Similarly, scores of cynicism and feelings of inadequacy in-
creased after transitioning to high school for adolescents on academic
tracks whereas these scores decreased especially for boys on vocational
tracks. Girls experienced a higher level of all three burnout components
(exhaustion, cynicism and inadequacy) than boys.
In the same vein the study of Bask and Salmela-Aro (2013) focused
on the link between school burnout and school dropout rates. This lon-
gitudinal study focused on the transition to post-comprehensive school
as for the previous study. A total of 878 ninth-grade Finnish students
participated in the study and data collection was done in 2004, 2005,
2006, and 2009. The average age of participants was, respectively, 16,
17, 18 and 21. The results of this study indicated that all the components
of burnout tend to increase over time. It was especially the cynical as-
pects which best predicted school dropout.
Also related to this transition period from secondary school to
upper-secondary school, the study done by Salmela-Aro & Tynkkynen
(2012) focused specically on the effect of gender on school-related
burnout during this transition. The study took place in four steps and
the overall sample was 954 participants: time 1 occurred at the begin-
ning of the ninth grade which is the last secondary school class, includ-
ing 687 participants (327 girls, 360 boys; response rate 72%); time 2 at
the end of the ninth grade included 642 participates (317 girls, 325
boys, response rate 67%); time 3 took place six months after the transi-
tion where 818 participated (396 girls, 422 boys; response rate 86%). Fi-
nally, time 4 was one year later and included 749 participants (368 girls,
381 boys, response rate 79%). The results demonstrated an increase of
all three school burnout components among high school boys and an in-
crease in school-related burnout among high school girls, particularly
concerning feelings of inadequacy. For students on the vocational
track no changes were observed; cynical aspects tended to decrease
overall among girls.
Another study carried out by Salmela-Aro, Kiuru, Pietikïnen, Jokela
(2008) was collected from two samples in Finland. In sample 1, partici-
pants were 58,657 students from 431 schools, aged from 14.3 to 16.2,
including 29,420 boys and 29,237 girls. In sample 2 responders were
29,515 students from 228 schools, aged from 16.3 to 18 years, 12,903
boys and 16,612 girls. The major ndings in this study were that
negative school climate was positively related to school-related burn-
out, whereas support from school and positive motivation received
from teachers was related to a low level of school-related burnout.
Concerning background variables, girls and those with a lower grade
point average experienced more school-related burnout. Nevertheless,
socio-economic status and family structure were not related to school-
related burnout.
A study carried out by Silvar (2001) in Slovenia was carried out on
1868 Slovene high school students aged from 15 to 18 years, 58.3% girls
and 41.7% boys. This study highlighted the fact that school-related burn-
out is related to poor family relationships and emotionally-oriented cop-
ing. Moreover, girls indicated higher academic stress, which was related
to anxiety and 6.8% of the participants in this study experienced a high
level of school-related burnout.
The study conducted by Yusoff (2010) involved 100 secondary
school students from a Malaysian government secondary school located
in Kota Bharu. The authors found a high prevalence (26.1%) of school-
related stress among their students. School stress factors concerned ac-
ademic matters (university admission, school subjects, and workload).
The most frequent coping strategies found in this study were positive
coping strategies (religious, active coping, positive reinterpretation,
planning, and use of instrumental support).
A study carried out in Turkey in ten high schools in Eskisehir
by Aypay (2011) included 691 students (371 girls and 360 boys).
Among these participants, 261 (38%) were in the 6th grade, 236
29V. Walburg / Children and Youth Services Review 42 (2014) 2833
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(34%) were in the 7th grade and 194 (28%) were in the 8th grade. The
results showed that burnout was induced by academic matters like
school activities, feelings of inadequacy, lack of interest, and family
The study conducted by Murberg and Bru (2003) among 531 stu-
dents aged from 13 to 16 from two secondary schools in Norway (284
girls and 247 boys), identied four dimensions of school-related stress:
difculties with peers at school, parent and/or teacher conicts, worries
about school achievement, and school pressure. Girls reported more
academic stress related to worries about achievement and school re-
sults. They also reported more psychosomatic symptoms than boys.
Boys in turn reported more academic stress relative to conicts with
teachers and parents. There was no evidence, however, of a link be-
tween higher psychosomatic symptoms and higher academic stress
among girls. The results indicate also that 18.1% of participants present
a high level of school-related stress and were affected by at least one
psychosomatic symptom.
The study conducted by Kiuru et al. (2008) explored the role of peer
inuence on school-related burnout. The study involved 517 partici-
pants (265 girls, 252 boys) from eight Finnish schools; median age
was 15 (SD = 0.34). The results of this study showed that the members
of adolescent peer groups were somewhat similar in terms of their
school burnout. Evidence for peer inuence in school-related burnout
was found, but no evidence was found for the effect of peer group selec-
tion. The results showed that belonging to a high-achieving peer group
protected group membersagainst anincrease in school-related burnout
and peer groups characterized by low academic achievement promoted
an increase in school-related burnout.
The study accomplished by Parker and Salmela-Aro (2011) tested
four theoretical frameworks explaining the development of burnout. A
model provided by Golembiewski (1989), which stipulates that burnout
developsin phases resulting in clusters representing progressively more
maladaptive states. A model provided by Leiter (1989) indicates a link
between emotional exhaustion and cynicism. A model provided by
Lee and Ashford (1993), according to which emotional exhaustion pre-
dicts both cynicism and feelings of inadequacy. And nally a model from
Taris, Le Blanc, Schaufeli, and Schreurs (2005) indicates that emotional
exhaustion has both direct and indirect effects on feelings of inadequacy
via cynicism. Participants were 852 Finnish high-school students; the
sample contained 444 girls and 408 boys and average age was 16. The
major ndings indicated that the theoretical framework provided by
Taris et al. (2005) tted the data best and that school-related burnout
is rather consistent over time as is cynicism which in turn predicts feel-
ings of inadequacy.
A study provided by Vasalampi, Salmela-Aro, and Nurmi (2009) ex-
plored the role of self-concordant achievement-related goal in school
engagement, adjustment and school-related burnout scores. Partici-
pants were 614 (376 girls, 237 boys) high school students from a
medium-sized town in central Finland. Mean age was 17 years (SD =
0.28). Globally the results indicate that the pursuit of achievement-
related goals for internal reasons was related to a high level of goal effort
and goal progress, which in turn predicts school adjustment. Moreover,
the results showed that goalprogress in their achievement-related goal
was related to a low level of school-related burnout among girls, but it
did not produce the same effect for boys.
Hence, many risk factors for academic stress and school-related burn-
out have been identied related to school context like school pressure,
peer groups, school engagement as well as adjustment and academic
track. Nevertheless, internal aspects like personality traits, cognitive dis-
crepancies and core beliefs which may impact vulnerability have not yet
been widely explored.
3.3. Consequences for mental health
Three studies highlighted some implications of school-related burn-
out in adolescent mental health: The longitudinal study conducted by
(Salmela-Aro, Savolainen, & Holopainen, 2009) including 611 partici-
pants (297 girls, 314 boys) from eight Finnish comprehensive schools,
found moderate stability of depression and school-related burnout
symptoms over time during adolescence, and underscores the fact that
school-related burnout predicts depressive symptoms more strongly
than vice versa. Symptomatic evolution based on gender or choice of
studies (academic or vocational track) has not been found.
Another longitudinal study carried out by Murberg and Bru (2006)
explored the role of neuroticism and school-related stress in somatic
symptoms. The study was conducted among 535 participants (376
girls, 237 boys) in Norway. The major nding was that school related
stress and neuroticism are risk factors for somatic symptoms.
Finally, a third longitudinal study provided by Tuominen-Soini and
Salmela-Aro (2013) had as its main goal, to explore school-related
burnout and school engagement proles among high school students;
a secondary objective was to examine the stability of proles six years
later in young adulthood. At time 1 the study took place in six high
schools in one Finnish town. 979 students were involved in the study
(587 girls and 392 boys) and mean age was 18.11 years (SD = 1.11).
Six years later 68% of the original sample participated (663 participants;
426 girls and 237 boys). Cluster analysis indicated four proles: en-
gaged, engaged-exhausted, cynical, and burned-out. Moreover, results
indicated that these proles were rather stable over time from late ad-
olescence to young adulthood.
As a result, it can be noted that some research underlines conse-
quences of school-related burnout on depression, somatic symptoms,
and academic trajectories with a higher risk of school dropout but many
aspects of maladjustment and high-risk behavior remains unknown.
Table 1 summarizes the research reviewed in this article alphabeti-
cally presented according to author name, publication date, main objec-
tive, method used and the main result. Of the sixteen articles reviewed,
three intended to test development models or validate measures, six
were cross-sectional studies, and seven were longitudinal studies. The
average number of participants was 4428.81 but with substantial vari-
ability between studies with one study featuring 100 participants and
another 58,657 participants.
4. Discussion
The different studies reviewed in this paper were conducted at var-
ious geographical locations (Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia,
Turkey, Malaysia) suggesting that the phenomenon is not geographical-
ly or culturally restricted but could be found among students with dif-
ferent school organizations and academic policies. The results of these
studies revealed the marked incidence of school-related burnout on ad-
olescent school life. Indeed, these studies indicate that school-related
burnout increases the risk for internalized problems like anxiety (Silvar,
2001) and depression (Salmela-Aro, Savolainen, et al., 2009)aswellasso-
matic symptoms (Murberg & Bru, 2003; Murberg & Bru, 2007). Higher
risks for suicidal ideation were also found (Ang & Huan, 2006). School-
related burnout and academic stress also affect academic achievement
by increasing the risk for school dropout (Bask & Salmela-Aro,
2013; Silvar, 2001) and for lower school engagement and achieve-
ment (Tuominen-Soini & Salmela-Aro, 2013; Vasalampi et al., 2009).
In addition, students on academic tracks appeared consistently to be
more at risk than those on vocational or professional tracks
(Salmela-Aro, Kiuru, & Nurmi, 2008; Salmela-Aro & Tynkkynen, 2012;
Bask & Salmela-Aro, 2013), implying that this nding merits further
All studies found higher school-related burnout and school related
stress scores among girls than boys which is consistent with previous
research stipulating that girls experienced higher levels of internalized
problems (Pomeranz, Altermatt, & Saxon, 2002).
Certain studies indicate some protective factors like problem resolu-
tion coping strategies (Yusoff, 2010), high-achievingpeer groups (Kiuru
30 V. Walburg / Children and Youth Services Review 42 (2014) 2833
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Table 1
School-related burnout research synthesis.
Author and publication year Country Research method, main purpose and sample size Major ndings and conclusion
Salmela-Aro, Kiuru, et al. (2009) Finland Testing the goodness-of-t of the three-factor model: exhaustion
at school, cynicism toward the meaning of school, and sense of
Sample size: 1108
School burnout was best described by three positively
correlating factors: exhaustion at school, cynicism toward
school, and inadequacy at school.
Salmela-Aro, Kiuru, and Nurmi
Finland Evolution of school-related burnout during the transition from
secondaryschool to upper secondary school (academictrack) or
vocational school (vocational track) and the role of gender
during this transition.
Longitudinal study
Sample size: 773
Adolescents in senior high schools (academictrack)
experienced more exhaustion than those in vocational schools
(vocational track).
Girls experienced more school-related burnout than boys.
Salmela-Aro, Kiuru, Pietikïnen,
et al. (2008)
Finland The effect of school related variables like negative school
climate, positive motivation received from teachers, support
from schooland background variables like gender,GPA, SES, and
family structure on school-related burnout scores.
Cross-sectional study
Sample size: 58,657
Negative school climate was related to high school burnout.
Support from school and positive motivation received from
teachers was related to a low level of school burnout.
Girls with lower GPA experienced more burnout.
SES and family structure were not related to school-related
Kiuru et al. (2008) Finland Do the membersof adolescents' peer groupsshow similar levels
of school-related burnout?
Do academic achievement and gender predict school burnout
and evolution over time?
Longitudinal study
Sample size: 517
Members of adolescent peer groups were similar in terms of
their school-related burnout.
Belonging to a high-achieving peer group protected group
members against the increase in school-related burnout.
Peer groups characterized by low academic achievement
promoted an increase in school-related burnout.
Ang and Huan (2006) Singapore The role of depression as a mediator between academic stress
and suicidal ideation.
Cross-sectional study
Sample size: 1108
Depression was a partial mediator between academic stress and
suicidal ideation among adolescents.
Silvar (2001) Slovenia Incidence of school-related burnout among secondary school
students related to gender, school performance, number of
studen ts, absen teeism , and self -esteem .
Cross-sectional study
Sample size: 1868
The study revealed that school-related burnout was linked to
high anxiety scores and low self-esteem, poor family
relationships, emotionally oriented coping, and absenteeism.
Yusoff (2010) Malaysian Prevalence of academic stress, stressors and coping strategies
among secondary school students in Malaysia.
Cross-sectional study
Sample size: 100
High prevalence of academic stress.
Stress factors concerned academic matters.
The most frequent coping strategies used in this study were
positive coping strategies.
Aypay (2011) Turkey The validity and reliability of a scale measuring school-related
burnout among high school students in Turkey.
Sample size: 697
Four factors were identiedby anexplanatory and conrmatory
factor analysis: burnout from school activities, burnout from
family, and feeling of insufciency in school and lack of interest
toward school.
Parker and Salmela-Aro (2011) Finland Testing the development of school-related burnout models
linked to four framework models.
Sample size: 852
The major ndings indicated that the theoretical framework
provided by Taris et al. (2005) tted the data best.
Salmela-Aro, Savolainen, et al.
Finland Evolution of depression and school-related burnout symptoms
between middle and late adolescence.
Cross-sectional study
Sample size: 611
A moderate stability of depression and burnout symptoms over
time during adolescence, and that burnout predicts depressive
symptoms more strongly than vice versa.
Murberg and Bru (2003) Norway The relationship between academic stress, psychosomatic
symptoms, and gender differences.
Cross-sectional study
Sample size: 531
For dimensions of school relatedstress: difcultieswith peers at
school, parent and/or teacher conicts, worries about school
achievement and school pressure.
Girls reported more academic stress and more psychosomatic
symptoms than boys.
Murberg and Bru (2007) Norway The role of neuroticism and school related stress in somatic
Longitudinal study
Sample size: 535
The results indicate that school related stress and neuroticism
are risk factors for somatic symptoms.
Vasalampi et al. (2009) Finland The role of self-concordant achievement-related goal in school
engagement, adjustment and school-related burnout scores.
Cross-sectional study.
Sample size: 614
The pursuit of achievement-related goals for internal reasons
was related to a high level of goal effort and goal progress.
Goal progress in their achievement-related goal wasrelated to a
low level of school-related burnout among girls.
Bask and Salmela-Aro (2013) Finland The link between school burnout and school dropout duringthe
transition to upper-secondary school.
Longitudinal study
Sample size: 878
All the components of burnout tend to increase over time.
Cynical traits predict school dropout best.
Salmela-Aro and Tynkkynen (2012) Finland Gender effect on school-related burnout during transition to
upper-secondary schools.
Longitudinal study
Sample size: 954
School-related burnout increases among students in high school
for both genders.
Tuominen-Soini and Salmela-Aro
Finland School-related burnout and school engagement proles among
high school students; examination of proles for stability six
years later.
Longitudinal study
Sample size: 979
Four typical proles were found: engaged, engaged-exhausted,
cynical and burned-out.
Proles are rather stable over time from adolescence to young
31V. Walburg / Children and Youth Services Review 42 (2014) 2833
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et al., 2008) and pursuit of achievement-related goals (Vasalampi et al.,
4.1. Limitation of the study
While one limitation could be that this review examined studies
about both academic stress and school-related burnout it is suggested
that these two concepts are particularly close and interconnected as de-
scribed by Salmela-Aro, Kiuru, and Nurmi (2008);thisauthordescribes
these two concepts as a continuous phenomenon, sharingthe same risk
factors. Similarly, the fact that some studies reviewed in this paper deal
with adolescents on a vocational track while the primary purpose of this
article is the school burnout among students in high school can lend it-
self to confusion. However, data from adolescents on vocational tracks
are presented in contrastto the data of those who continue on academic
Since, school-related burnout is rather a recent problem studied
among high school students the number of studies so far is perhaps a
bit limited for a review of the literature. Nevertheless, it seems worth-
while to present the current research in this area to get a rst insight
of risk factors and psychopathologic consequences of this disorder, to
provide possible indications for prevention, and, above all, encourage
future research in this eld.
4.2. Implication for further research
Relatively few studies about school-related burnout indicated prev-
alence, which suggest a lack of standardized tests with cutoff scores that
would be required to have a better sense of themagnitude of this disor-
der. More research is therefore needed to explore the possibilities of
screening, prevention, and intervention opportunities. What is more,
several studies have attempted to identify risk factors and the develop-
ment of school-related burnout over time, butso far few studies have fo-
cused on the impact on mental health consequences. Indeed, it would
be worthwhile to have a better insight on the inuence of school-
related burnout on otherpsychopathological disorders recurrent during
adolescence, for instance self-esteem, borderline personality traits or
even maladaptive behaviors such as substance abuse or behavioral
Concerning future research in the area of interventions, feelings of
self-efcacy might be an interesting idea to explore. Indeed, previous
studies showed that self-efcacy feelings during high school contribute
to high-school grades (Caprara, Vecchione, Alessandri, Gerbino, &
Barbanelli, 2010). And group interventions among adolescents based
on solution-focused approaches improve feelings of self-efcacy
(Kvarme et al., 2010). Thus the feeling of self-efcacy could perhaps
contribute to improve students' abilities to cope with stressful situa-
tions faced in school.
Studies among adults in professional situations have already
showed encouraging results regarding self-efcacy. A study con-
ducted by Salmela-Aro, Näätänen, and Nurmi (2004), group psycho-
therapy interventions based on personal goals and projects appeared
to decrease burnout levels. In the same vein, a study carried out by
Schauffeli and Salanova (2007) among adults in professional situa-
tions showed that feelings of inefcacy are related to burnout levels.
Skills regarding beliefs and cognitions appear to play an important
role as described in previous studies. A study carried out by Hilsman
and Garber (1995) showed that the interaction of negative cognitions
like lack of academic control and competence with stressors like low
grades can cause distress. Similarly, some cognitive styles like self-
worth or attribution styles had a mediation effect on depressive symp-
toms (Robinson, Graber, & Hilsman, 1995).
Coping strategies in particular problem-solving coping indicate in-
teresting results for dealing with stress during adolescence (Zimmer-
Gembeck & Skinner, 2008). And as was shown by the study made by
Yusoff (2010) this approach could also have a positive impact on
school-related burnout among students and would hence be relevant
for future research in the eld of protective factors.
The study provided by Agliata and Renk (2009) indicates that discrep-
ancies between parental expectations and perceived self-performance by
the student induced internal disorder (anxiety, depression, distress).
From this perspective an approach focused on parents as preventions,
5. Conclusion
Burnout is a well-known concept among adults in professional situ-
ations; over the last decade this concept has also been studied in the
school context. Research in this area has shown the importance of the
phenomenon in adolescents affecting their mental health and academic
performance. More research is needed for a better understanding of risk
factors and implications on mental health but also for developing scales
measuring prevalence and potential protective factors. Interventions on
self-efcacy, coping strategies or cognitive beliefs about academic com-
petence are also interesting possibilities to explore in the future.
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... Burnout is quite well known and has been studied for a long time in professional contexts [1], including the educational field, both among teachers and students at various educational levels, including higher education [2][3][4]. ...
... Some authors have pointed out that, worldwide, between 40 and 50% of students and health professionals could have burnout to some degree [12]. In fact, it is a phenomenon that can be found in any cultural or geographical context as well as among students of different educational policies and academic degrees [4]. ...
... The main hypotheses of our study can be summarised as follows: First of all, we expect to find around 30% of students with high levels of burnout, according to the studies reviewed [4,12]. Secondly, and in line with what was found in other studies [14,25], we expect to find an association between the presence of burnout and the following variables: self-esteem, resilience and age. ...
Full-text available
Burnout syndrome seems to involve fatigue that is characterised by loss of motivation, lack of energy, and some apathy as a consequence of continued exposure to stress in demanding performance circumstances. Background: The goal of the present study is to analyse the relationship between burnout in university students with a degree in Teaching and some variables that may be associated with it such as self-esteem, resilience or age. Methods: A total of 1547 graduate students enrolled in the career of Teaching in the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the University of Granada, Spain, participated in the study. Of them, 337 (21.8%) were men, 1195 (77.3%) were women, 14 (0.9%) indicated other gender options, and 1 (0%) did not respond to this item. The mean age of the participants was 20.52. Results: The results show that low levels of self-esteem and resilience, are the variables that best predict the increase in burnout in students of Teaching. Conclusions: Findings are discussed regarding applied implications and the need for future research. Intervention initiatives focused on enhancing personal strengths such as resilience or self-esteem can help students to cope with the stress associated with demanding educational situations and thus reduce the presence of burnout.
... As in adult workplaces, adolescents contend with experiences that induce anxiety or stress, thereby impairing their well-being. Recently, based on the rationale that school is a place where students work (Salmela-Aro & Tynkkynen, 2012), the concept of burnout has been extended to the school and education contexts (Salmela-Aro, 2017;Walburg, 2014). School burnout as a new research topic has quickly gained international attention during the last decade, testifying to its perceived relevance across countries (e.g., Herrmann et al., 2019;May et al., 2015;Yang & Chen, 2016). ...
... School burnout as a new research topic has quickly gained international attention during the last decade, testifying to its perceived relevance across countries (e.g., Herrmann et al., 2019;May et al., 2015;Yang & Chen, 2016). School burnout can be observed among students in countries with different educational systems and academic policies, indicating that it is neither a culturally nor geographically restricted phenomenon (Walburg, 2014). ...
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To piece empirical studies on student engagement together, this chapter uses the framework presented in the Study Demands-Resources (SD-R) model. The SD-R model offers a comprehensive view on engagement, demands, resources, and outcomes, and on the interplay of various antecedents. Unlike previous frameworks , the SD-R model endorses the duality of the contextual, personal, and social features (i.e., demands and resources), and the following processes leading from engagement to high motivation, performance, and well-being (i.e., motivational process) or from student burnout and exhaustion to decreased well-being (i.e., energy-depleting process), and thus highlights the synergistic relationships among the different features of the model. In addition, this chapter sheds light on the role of socio-emotional skills as resources of student engagement. Moreover, some future directions in the field of engagement research using the SD-R framework will be addressed.
... En el caso específico de estudiantes universitarios, el burnout presenta una clara asociación negativa con el logro y el compromiso académico o la autoeficacia, entre otras variables (Fernández-Castillo & Fernández-Prados, 2021;Fiorilli et al., 2017;Rahmati, 2015;Schaufeli et al., 2002). Ante tal evidencia parece importante que surjan estudios que trabajen en la prevención del burnout en estudiantes, que avancen en la promoción de los sentimientos de autoeficacia o de las soluciones de afrontamiento en contextos educativos (Walburg, 2014). Igualmente son trascendentales los esfuerzos dirigidos a la detección y evaluación del burnout en esta población. ...
... In general, school burnout can either be triggered by high perceived study demands, a cynical and detached attitude toward one's studies, or feelings of Inadequacy [16,17], echoing emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of school burnout [15]. The workplace burnout concept has lately been extended to school contexts, assuming that a school is where students work [8,18]. In accordance with this contemporary approach, we in this study define school burnout among elementary school pupils as a combination of exhaustion as a result of school demands, a cynical and detached attitude towards school, and feelings of inadequacy [19]. ...
Full-text available
School engagement has assumed an important place in current developmental psychology and educational research due to its potential to address students’ low achievement, high dropout rates, and misbehavior. Although much has been written about the antecedents and outcomes of student engagement, literature on how students’ level of engagement differs in response to different teaching styles was missing on a large scale. Understanding the patterns and risks linked with student engagement provides opportunities for targeted intervention. This study explored primary school students’ engagement and burnout profiles and how different profiles interacted with perceived classroom teaching styles (i.e., autonomy-supportive & autonomy suppressive). Latent profile analysis resulted in four student engagement subgroups: moderately engaged, engaged, moderately burned out, and burned out. Students clustered into engagement groups were likely to report higher autonomy support from teachers. In contrast, burned-out groups were more likely to rate teachers’ teaching styles as suppressive (i.e., autonomy suppressive). Collectively, the study indicated that autonomy-supportive teaching behaviors are pivotal in understanding student engagement and school burnout. Thus, tailored teacher-focused intervention programs that enhance teachers’ awareness of autonomy-supportive teaching is important. The significance of the findings with the demand-resource model (in the education context) was discussed.
... For instance, when it comes to studies, burnout has been proven to hurt students' school performance and academic achievement since it causes a lack of motivation and productivity (Yang, 2004) and leads to less student engagement (Salmela-Aro et al., 2009). Furthermore, burnout has harmful effects on students' mental and physical health since it increases the risk of them suffering from anxiety, depression, and somatic symptoms (Walburg, 2014). As a final point, what makes student burnout a severe issue is that its effects not only last throughout students' educational journey but may also prevail and evolve to become professional burnout (Yang & Farn, 2005). ...
Full-text available
The present study seeks to explore the relationship between Algerian EFL students' emotional intelligence (EI) and their burnout status. To determine the levels of these variables and reach the purpose of the study, two self-report scales are employed with a sample of 57 EFL third-year students at Ecole Normale Supérieure of Bouzareah (ENSB), in Algiers. The first scale is the Brief Emotional Intelligence Scale (BEIS-10), used to measure the students' EI level, while the second one is the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey (MBI-SS), used to measure their burnout level. Surprisingly, the findings reveal no significant relationship between the EI level of EFL students and their burnout level since the Pearson's Correlation demonstrates that r= .024, which suggests that EI is not a factor that affects burnout. The results also show that 60% of the students have a high level of EI, and 40% have a high level of burnout.
... One of the problems frequently seen in individuals who continue their university education is school burnout (Walburg, 2014). It is seen that subjective well-being is one of the situations that school burnout negatively affects (Raiziene et al., 2014). ...
... The diminishing levels of study wellbeing have become a growing concern among educational practitioners, policymakers, and researchers worldwide (e.g., Walburg, 2014;Yang and Chen, 2016;Salmela-Aro et al., 2021;Vinter et al., 2021). In Finland, it has been suggested that up to 21% of upper secondary education students have suffered from study burnout, whereas 33% reported experiencing positive study engagement (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, 2021). ...
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Having the ability to understand emotionally how other people feel and see things is an essential fabric for building and sustaining functional interpersonal relationships. Without such an ability, social interaction crumbles, engagement fails, and learning is eroded. Yet, empirical evidence on the relationship between study burnout and study engagement, and empathy between upper secondary school students is limited. We are tackling the challenge by exploring the association between empathy between peers and study engagement and study burnout among upper secondary school students. Two hundred and eighty upper secondary education students took part in our cross-sectional study. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the association between empathy (i.e., cognitive and affective empathy), and study burnout and study engagement. The results showed that cognitive empathy contributed to affective empathy, which was further related to increased levels of study engagement, and decreased levels of cynicism, and sense of inadequacy. The role of cognitive empathy seemed to be more complicated: while cognitive empathy contributed directly to increased levels of cynicism, and inadequacy and decrease in study engagement, the indirect effects of cognitive empathy (through affective empathy) on cynicism and inadequacy were negative, and positive on study engagement. Neither of the empathy dimensions explained students’ emotional exhaustion. The results indicate that merely teaching students to recognize and identify their peers’ emotions is not sufficient to enhance study wellbeing, but they need to learn to share emotions and to tune into each other’s emotions.
The outcomes of Chap. 3 form the input for Chaps. 4 and 5. In these chapters, helpful perspectives for a pedagogical response to complex societal challenges are developed. Herein, Chap. 4 focuses on axiology, and Chap. 5 on praxeology. In doing so, the diffractive methodology introduced in Chap. 3 is further developed as an effort to bring the narratives and insights of Chap. 3 into conversation with complexivistic pedagogical literature. As such, Chaps. 4 and 5 position this book more thoroughly within a growing field of cutting-edge work connecting the theory of entanglement to pedagogical theory. In Chap. 4 the axiological perspectives explored and discussed are (1) entanglement-orientedness, (2) entanglement-awareness, and (3) hopeful action.
This chapter lays the foundation for the book, both in terms of aspirations and methodology. It positions the book as a pedagogical exercise in complexity thinking and develops its orientation toward helpful perspectives for situated pedagogical responses to complex societal challenges. Three interwoven methodological threads are introduced: (1) narrative inquiry with 12 teachers as coresearchers, (2) a pragmatic approach to literature study, and (3) autoethnography.KeywordsComplexityPedagogyHelpful perspectivesNarrative inquiryAutoethnograpy
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T he main purpose of the present study was to investigate psychometric properties of the School/University Burnout Inventory (SBI, Salmela-Aro, Kiuru, Leskinen & Nurmi, 2009) among Iranian students. 322 university students (166 male, 156 female) completed the SBI and the Schoolwork Engagement Inventory (SEI, Salmela-Aro & Upadaya, 2012). The exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis methods and internal consistency were used to compute the SBI's factorial validity and reliability, respectively. Also, in order to examine the construct validity of the SBI, we computed correlations between total score of MSPSS and it's subscales with school engagement. The results of principal component analysis (PC) and varimax rotation replicated 3-factor structure of exhaustion at schoolwork, cynicism toward the meaning of school and sense of inadequacy at school in the Iranian sample. Goodness-of-fit indices of confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the 3 extracted factors. Internal consistency for the total score of SBI and its subscale consisted of exhaustion; cynicism and inadequacy were 0/91, 0/85, 0/84 and 0/89 respectively. In sum, these findings provide evidence for the validity and reliability of the SBI as a instrument to measure of school burnout among Iranian university students.
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The purpose of this study is to develop an "Elementary School Student Burnout Scale for Grades 6-8". The study group included 691 students out of 10 schools in Eskisehir. Both Exploratory Factor Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis were conducted on the data (Burnout stem from school activities, burnout stem from family, feeling of insufficiency in school, lack of interest towards school). A four factor solution was emerged with 26 items. These four factors explain 59% of the total variance. Factor loadings ranged from .42-.81. Cronbach Alpha reliability coefficient for the sub-dimensions ranged from the lowest .76 to the highest .92. Split-half correlation coefficient for the sub-dimensions ranged from .65 to .81. The model indices emerged from the Confirmatory Factor Analysis [GFI = 0.94, AGFI = 0.91, PGFI = 0.89, RMSEA = 0.07, CFI = 0.91; (chi 2 = 787.6, df = 293, p < .01)] indicated that there was a good fit. To establish criterion validity of the scale, "Academic Expectations Stress Inventory" was used. The correlation coefficients between the two scales as well as among the sub-dimensions of the scales varied from the lowest .20 to the highest .38.
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This article deals with certain characteristics of the teenagers experiencing burnout and the influence of some dimensions of self image and anxiety on the burnout dimensions. The research investigated the relation between anxiety, dimensions of self image and the burnout syndrome. The research data were obtained through the use of the modified MBI - "The Maslach Burnout Inventory", Spielbergs' questionnaire of trait anxiety and Offer Self-Imagination Questionnaire. The research comprised 1868 students aged between 15 and 19 6.7 percent of them turned out to have suffered a strong burnout. The results of the research proved that the burnout syndrome appears in several different levels of intensity also among adolescents attending secondary school (gymnasia programme). True multivariate research the two basic hypotheses were confirmed: the adolescents with some negative self image areas are more likely to suffer burnout and that there is the certain dimensions of self image influence certain dimensions of burnout.
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Arising from interest concerning the possibility of causal relationships among the three components of the Maslach Burnout Inventory, several process models have been proposed for the development of burnout. The present paper first reviews the evidence in favour of the three most influential of these (Leiter and Maslach's model (1988); Golembiewski, Boudreau, Munzenrider, & Luo's (1996) phase model; and Lee and Ashforth's model (1993)). These three models, and our own model (which integrates of two of them, and includes feedback effects of depersonalization on emotional exhaustion) are then compared with each other using structural equation modelling, drawing on longitudinal data from two Dutch samples (total N=1185). The review revealed that none of the seven previous studies on this issue provided any convincing support for any particular causal order proposed so far. In contrast, our own study showed that high levels of exhaustion were associated with high levels of depersonalization over time across both samples. Further, higher levels of depersonalization led to higher levels of emotional exhaustion and lower levels of personal accomplishment. To our knowledge, the present research is the first to provide reliable longitudinal evidence for the conceptualization of burnout as a developmental process, although the effects are not large enough to be of practical use in the recognition of burnout.
School burnout can be defined as consisting of exhaustion due to school demands, cynical, and detached attitude toward one's school, and feelings of inadequacy as a student (Kiuru, Aunola, Nurmi, Leskinen, & Salmela-Aro, 2008; Salmela-Aro & Näätänen, 2005; Schaufeli, Martínez, Pinto, Salanova, & Bakker, 2002). The first aim of the present study was to examine the extent to which schools differ in school-related burnout. Moreover, the aim was to examine the extent to which school-related and background factors are associated with school burnout at the school level and at the individual level. The participants were 58,657 students from 431 comprehensive schools and 29,515 students from 228 upper secondary schools who filled in a questionnaire measuring their school burnout, school-related variables (i.e., negative school climate, positive motivation received from teachers, support from the school), and background variables (i.e., gender, grade-point average, socio-economic status, and family structure). The results revealed only small differences between schools in school burnout. Among the comprehensive school students the results at the school-level showed that negative school climate typical of the school was positively related, while support from school shared among school members was negatively related to school-related burnout. Among upper secondary school students, in turn, positive motivation received from teachers typical of the school was negatively related to school-related burnout. At the individual level, negative school climate was positively related, and support from school and positive motivation received from teachers were negatively related to burnout among both the comprehensive and upper secondary school students. In addition, girls and those with lower GPA experienced higher levels of school burnout compared to boys and those with higher GPA. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
This study examines the relationships between school-related stress, gender and psychosomatic symptoms in a sample of 531 adolescents pupils in years (grades) 8, 9 and 10 (aged 13-16 years) from two compulsory schools in Norway. Results showed that 18.1 percent reported being ‘very much’ affected by at least one of the assessed psychosomatic symptoms. Girls reported significantly more psychosomatic symptoms than did boys. Tests of the dimensionality of the school-related stress that was assessed in the present study showed four main categories: (1) difficulties with peers at school; (2) worries about school achievement; (3) schoolwork pressure and (4) conflicts with parents and/or teachers. Results from multiple regression analyses showed that scores for the different stressors were significantly associated with psychosomatic symptoms. Findings suggest that frequency of psychosomatic symptoms might be related to how well or otherwise pupils adapt to the demands of school and to the interpersonal climate of the school. Gender seems to play a differentiating role here. Girls reported significantly more stress that was related to worries about school achievement, whereas boys reported significantly more stress arising from conflicts with parents and/or teachers. Finally, stress due to difficulties with peers at school was more closely correlated with psychosomatic symptoms among boys than among girls.
This paper examines the development of school burnout among Finnish youth aged 16–18, specifically with regard to the following three components: a cynical attitude toward the school, feelings of inadequacy as a student, and exhaustion at school. There is evidence of an increase in all three components over time, but only among students on the academic track. There appear to be differences in burnout levels between those who drop out from school and those who do not, and the risk of an individual with high levels of cynicism or feelings of inadequacy dropping out is clearly higher than among those who score low on these two components. When various explanatory variables are controlled for, cynicism still remains a significant factor explaining drop out, and a low grade point average appears to be a major explanatory variable for school dropout. This study is especially interesting in the context of Finland, known for its equality-striving and high-quality educational system. Finnish youth, compared with youth in many other countries, nevertheless have a low level of in-school well-being. We use the Finnish Educational Transitions data (N = 878) collected in four waves, the first three on an annual basis and the fourth 5 years after the first one.
Applying a person-centered approach, the primary aim of this study was to examine what profiles of schoolwork engagement and burnout (i.e., exhaustion, cynicism, inadequacy) can be identified in high school (N = 979) and among the same participants in young adulthood (ages ranging from 17 to 25). We also examined gender differences, group differences in academic and socio-emotional functioning and long-term educational outcomes, and temporal stability in the group memberships. Latent profile analysis identified four groups of students in high school. Both engaged (44%) and engaged–exhausted (28%) students were engaged and doing well in school, although engaged–exhausted students were more stressed and preoccupied with possible failures. Cynical (14%) and burned-out (14%) students were less engaged, valued school less, and had lower academic achievement. Cynical students, however, were less stressed, exhausted, and depressed than burned-out students. Six years later, engaged students were more likely than predicted by chance to attend university. In young adulthood, four similar groups were identified. Configural frequency analysis indicated that it was typical for engaged students to stay in the engaged group and for engaged–exhausted students to move into a more disengaged group. The results on broadband stability from adolescence to young adulthood showed that 60% of the youth manifested stable engaged and 7% stable disengaged patterns, while 16% displayed emergent engagement and 17% emergent disengagement patterns. Overall, the findings demonstrate that adolescence is not a uniform time for either school engagement and well-being or disengagement and distress.
The discrepancy between college students’ performance and parents’ expectations may be related to college students’ affective distress. Further, the role that parent–college student communication reciprocity may play in the context of these discrepancies has not been examined. As a result, this study examined parent–college student expectation discrepancies and communication reciprocity as predictors of college students’ affective distress (i.e., anger, depression, and anxiety). Results of this study suggest that college student–parent expectation discrepancies, communication reciprocity, and college students’ affective distress (i.e., anger, depression, and anxiety) are interrelated significantly. Further, results from the hierarchical regressions conducted for this study suggest that college students’ perception of their communication reciprocity with their parents may be a more important predictor of college students’ depression and anxiety in the context of the expectation discrepancies examined in this study. These findings underscore the importance of teaching communication skills to college students and their parents as a means of diminishing the deleterious effects of perceiving one another inaccurately.