The relationship between the big five personality factors and burnout: A study among volunteer counselors

Arnold B. Bakker, Karen I. Van Der Zee, Kerry A. Lewig, Maureen F. Dollard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

284 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the present study of 80 volunteer counselors who cared for terminally ill patients, the authors examined the relationship between burnout as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory (C. Maslach, S. E. Jackson, & M. P. Leiter, 1996) and the 5 basic (Big Five) personality factors (A. A. J. Hendriks, 1997): extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and intellect/autonomy. The results of 3 separate stepwise multiple regression analyses showed that (a) emotional exhaustion is uniquely predicted by emotional stability; (b) depersonalization is predicted by emotional stability, extraversion, and intellect/autonomy; and (c) personal accomplishment is predicted by extraversion and emotional stability. In addition, some of the basic personality factors moderated the relationship between relative number of negative experiences and burnout, suggesting that personality may help to protect against known risks of developing burnout in volunteer human service work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-50
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Volume146
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Big Five
  • Burnout
  • Personality
  • Stress and coping
  • Volunteer counselors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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