Experiencing Burnout By African-American College Students Who Hold Employment

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From: SAM Advanced Management Journal(Vol. 83, Issue 3)
Publisher: Society for the Advancement of Management
Document Type: Article
Length: 3,407 words
Lexile Measure: 1340L

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The purpose of the present study was to examine the differences in the gender, type of students, and age in the relationship between emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment and depersonalization. We surveyed 300 African-American college students and our findings show that female students, married students, graduate students, more age-group students experience emotional exhaustion that significantly affects their personal accomplishment and depersonalization. The implications for management are discussed.


Research on stress and burnout is exhaustive (Hakanen, Bakker, & Jokisaari, 2011; Maslach et al., 1996). The present study is aimed at examining the stress of employees who pursue higher education at the same time they are working. The university lecture schedule, time struggle between colleges and universities and place of work, growing job demands, and growing demands from professors are antecedents to stress and burnout. This eventually affects a student's performance both at work and at the universities. Burnout has been the most widely studied correlate of job stress (Lee & Ashforth, 1996). Job stress is defined as psychological strain resulting from continuous exposure to daily stressors at work and at home. Burnout is an experience of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion resulting in decrease in performance (Etzion, 1984; Freudenberger, 1980). Burnout, as conceptualized by Maslach (1982), is a three-dimensional experience that includes emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. This was conceptualized some four decades ago, and the present study is aimed at reexamining the relationships among these variables in the present world. Workplace burnout refers to an individual's gradual decline of work quality, or wearing out, due to stressful job demands and work environment (Freudenberger, 1974). Workplace burnout is a chronic condition that causes fatigue and exhaustion in an individual from job stress. An employee's burnout is determined by physical signs and behavioral indicators. Available research indicates that emotional exhaustion is the main underlying factor of burnout (Maslach et al., 1982). Emotional exhaustion occurs when an employee feels physically and emotionally worn out and is overwhelmed by job demands. The emotional exhaustion is expected to decrease the enthusiasm and energy in the employees. Ultimately it may lead to depersonalization, and employees shy away from customers, colleagues, and supervisors. The consequence of exhaustion is a decrease in personal accomplishment, competency, and success at work.

Theoretical Background and Hypotheses Development

Workplace burnout has been studied extensively by researchers for over five decades (Maslach & Goldbert, 1998). Available research suggests that workplace burnout has deleterious consequences. Workplace burnout affects different aspects of an employee's work, which can include job satisfaction, job performance, relationships with internal and external customers, as well as the employee's physical and psychological health.

Although there are several models on stress, a recent model developed by Miller (2015) focused on stressors, burnout, and potential outcomes. Antecedents of burnout are stressors that make it difficult for individuals to cope with their environment. Some examples of such stressors are employee workload, role conflict, role ambiguity, life events, and work-family conflicts. Stressors lead to burnout, which in turn results in emotional exhaustion,...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A596575956