The relationship between work and home-based stressors in predicting burnout symptoms was examined amongst 120 drug and alcohol service employees. Staff who reported high levels of burnout on the Maslach Burnout Inventory across all three scales of Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization and Personal Accomplishment were compared with a sample of low burnout employees. High burnout was associated with younger age, larger agency size, high levels of total work stressors, work overload, and daily hassles and a lower level of peer cohesion. Regression analyses revealed that male gender, younger age, work overload, role ambiguity and daily hassles were significant predictors of Emotional Exhaustion. Younger age was also a significant predictor of Depersonalization. Marked differences were found in the way in which males and females responded to work and non-work stressors and the interaction between these variables. For women, a significant interaction was found between total work stressors and home-based stressors in the prediction of Emotional Exhaustion and a trend in this direction was evident for Depersonalization. Low levels of home problems appeared to protect women from the adverse impact of work stressors. The burnout levels of women were relatively unaffected by work stressors, unless home stressors were also high. The level of daily hassles had a direct effect upon symptoms of Emotional Exhaustion, but did not interact with work stressors in predicting Emotional Exhaustion for women. Burnout levels of male employees on Emotional Exhaustion and Depersonalization scales were strongly linked to the level of work stressors and were not predicted by total home stressors nor the interaction between these variables. Symptoms of Emotional Exhaustion in males were predicted by severity of daily hassles, but this variable did not interact with work stressors in predicting Emotional Exhaustion.
- gender differences
- work stress