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Towards a fine-grained analysis of the link between borderline personality pathology and job burnout: Investigating the association with work-family conflict

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Abstract

Although numerous studies have investigated Borderline Personality Pathology (BPP) in relation to unfavorable family-life outcomes, its relationship with job correlates is poorly understood. Using a fine-grained analysis, the present study examined the link between BPP and job burnout. Focusing on both the overall BPP score as well as on the facets of BPP (i.e., anxiousness, depression, emotional lability, hostility, separation insecurity, risk taking, impulsivity), this study explores which specific BPP facets are relevant for explaining (different dimensions of) burnout (i.e., exhaustion, distance and incompetence). In addition, this study examined whether the experience of burnout also translates into difficulties experienced at the crossroads of work and family (i.e., work-family conflict; WFC). Based on a community sample of 474 employees (38.8% male, age range 23–61), the results showed that the BPP facet depression related positively to all three dimensions of burnout. Further, the BPP facets anxiousness and hostility showed a unique positive association with respectively exhaustion and distance, whereas the BPP facet risk taking showed a unique negative association with personal incompetence. Furthermore, the results suggested that job burnout characteristics fully mediated the association between BPP and WFC. Results are discussed in terms of the significance of exploring BPP at a fine-grained trait level for a firmer understanding of its intertwining with characteristics of job burnout and WFC.

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Official Dutch translation of the personality inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5)
  • B De Clercq
  • F De Fruyt
  • I Mervielde
  • B Krueger
  • K Markon
De Clercq, B., De Fruyt, F., Mervielde, I., Krueger, B., & Markon, K. (2011). Official Dutch translation of the personality inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5). (Unpublished manuscript).
Utrechtse burnout schaal (UBOS): Testhandleiding
  • W B Schaufeli
  • D Van Dierendonck
Schaufeli, W. B., & van Dierendonck, D. (2000). Utrechtse burnout schaal (UBOS): Testhandleiding [Utrecht Burnout Scale: Test manual]. Amsterdam: Harcourt Test Services.