Featured Topic: Burnout


Featured Topic: Burnout

Sarah Krivan 


Taking a break from work offers the opportunity to rest and replenish personal resources. Lack of access to downtime throughout the year, in contrast, increases the likelihood of job burnout, that is, people’s work-related stress response in terms of emotions, relationships, and self-evaluation (Zhang et al., 2016). Soler et al. (2007) reported that burnout is exacerbated by, among other factors, working on weekends.

A number of SBP authors have examined burnout among teachers, ranging from those working at the kindergarten level to those teaching at tertiary institutions. Zhang et al. (2016) noted that burnout moderated the relationship between the Big Five personality factors and knowledge sharing among their sample of college teachers. They drew the conclusion that by reducing burnout, teachers become more likely to share knowledge, which is a desirable outcome. Students are not exempt either, with adolescents (Wang et al., 2023) and college students (Jiang et al., 2012) alike having been found to exhibit symptoms of academic burnout.

Many healthcare roles are characterized by high levels of stress, with felt responsibility for patients’ well-being and the need for fast decision making and actioning of plans inducing an ongoing perception of pressure. Burks et al. (2012) noted that healthcare providers with a high degree of empathy may experience burnout when they feel unable to help their patients effectively. Midwives reported moderate levels of both burnout and work-related stress in the study by Oncel et al. (2007), although these negative outcomes were mitigated by job satisfaction. Among war-zone aid workers, Musa and Hamid (2008) observed that local aid workers were more susceptible to developing burnout and secondary traumatic stress than were international aid staff, and this susceptibility resulted in greater general feelings of distress and lower levels of compassion satisfaction.

Given how common an experience burnout seems to be at all stages of life, from school onward throughout one’s career and into retirement, identifying ways to alleviate its negative impact on people’s health and well-being has drawn the attention of numerous researchers. Among the variables our authors have examined in this regard, L. Guo et al. (2022) found that high levels of psychological capital (i.e., self-efficacy, optimism, resilience, and hope) moderated the effect of effort–reward imbalance on preschool teachers’ job burnout. This finding of a moderating effect of psychological capital on job burnout was echoed in a college teacher sample by Yin (2023). Y. Guo et al. (2022) found that mindfulness had a positive effect on reducing burnout, but this effect was mediated by fatigue. Finally, Kaewpan et al. (2017) reported that a positive workplace environment reduced the incidence of burnout among academic staff who continued on at their workplace after reaching retirement age during the transition to stopping working.

Interested in finding out more about the factors contributing to burnout and potential intervention methods relating to its prevention and treatment? Our journal archive contains dozens of articles on this and other, related subjects over our five decades of publication. Sign up for a personal subscription to SBP to gain access to over 4,050 papers spanning the fields of social, behavioral, and developmental psychology.


The interactive effects of personality and burnout on knowledge sharing among teachers – Jinfeng Zhang, and Mingjie Zhou, and Jianxin Zhang, 2016, 44(8), 1267–1280.

Burnout in European general practice and family medicine – Jean Karl Soler, Hakan Yaman, and Magdalena Esteva, 2007, 35(8), 1149–1150.

The effect of Internet addiction on mind wandering: Resilience and academic burnout as mediators among Chinese adolescents – Fang Wang, Meiling Huang, and Jianguo Qu, 2023, 51(2), Article e12097.

How cooperativeness and competitiveness influence student burnout: The moderating effect of neuroticism – Wanbo Jiang, Yunhui Huang, and Gong Chen, 2012, 40(5), 805–814.

The empathy-altruism association and its relevance to health care professions – Derek J. Burks, Lorraine K. Youll, and Jayson P. Durtschi, 2012, 40(3), 395–400.

Work-related stress, burnout and job satisfaction in Turkish midwives – Selma Oncel, Zeynep Canli Ozer, and Emine Efe, 2007, 35(3), 317–328.

Psychological problems among aid workers operating in Darfur – Saif Ali Musa and Abdalla A. R. M. Hamid, 2008, 36(3), 407–416.

Effort–reward imbalance and job burnout in preschool teachers: A moderated mediation model – Liping Guo, Mingming Huang, Yaqin Wang, Song Shi, Manhua Yang, and Jing Shuai, 2022, 50(1), Article e10284.

Psychological capital moderates the effect of emotional labor strategies on job burnout in college teachers – Weiwei Yin, 2023, 51(1), Article e12026.

Mindfulness and burnout among Chinese civil pilots: Mediation through fatigue and proactive coping – Yaning Guo, Ming Ji, Zhiwei Yang, Hui Wang, and Xuqun You, 2022, 50(3), Article e11146.

Professional quality of life among postretired academic university employees in Thailand – Wonpen Kaewpan, Karl Peltzer, Surintorn Kalampakorn, and Sutteeporn Moolsart, 2017, 45(4), 669–676.