Burnout and work engagement among South African psychologists
Although numerous and divergent stressors are inherent to the professional life of a psychologist, research regarding burnout and its antipode, work engagement in psychologists is sparse. The current research sought to investigate the nature of and the relationship between job demands, job resources, burnout and work engagement in a group of South African psychologists. The Job Demand-Resources (JD-R) model was employed as the foundation from which to understand and explain the process of burnout development, as well as the process of maintaining work engagement. Personal interviews were conducted and qualitatively analysed to determine occupation-specific themes which were used to develop the Job Demands-Job Resources Scale for Psychologists (JD-JRSP). A group of South African psychologists in private practice (N =105) completed the JD-JRSP, the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES). The statistical analyses of these instruments reflected that the JD-R model provides a meaningful basis for research into burnout and work engagement. The participants in this study reported low to moderate job demands with moderate to high job resources. In accordance with the underpinnings of the JD-R model, burnout scores were shown to be low, whilst the participants retained high levels of work engagement. The results suggest that job resources mitigate the debilitating effects of job demands and therefore protect against burnout, whilst promoting work engagement. The present study makes a unique contribution to the field as no other South African or international research has, to date, investigated these four constructs in psychologists.
- Humanities