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Burnout Among Student Affairs Professionals at Metropolitan Universities

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the level of burnout among student affairs professionals at the 52 U.S. member institutions of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. Packets containing the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), the Moos Work Environment Scale (WES), and a demographic survey were mailed to 371 senior student affairs administrators at the member institutions, with a completed response rate of 58.22%. The senior student affairs administrators surveyed included the chief student affairs officers and the professional staff who reported to them. The research design employed t-tests, analyses of variance, and Pearson's Product Moment correlations. The scores obtained from the MBI and WES subscales were compared overall and along 9 independent variablestitle of position, size of institution, appointment, salary, years in current position, years in profession, age, gender, and highest degree attained. Average levels of burnout were found on each of the MBI subscores. Contrary to earlier studies, women did not suffer from statistically significant higher levels of burnout than men, and burnout levels decreased with age and years in the profession for both sexes. Lower scores on the MBI depersonalization subscale were found in employees in mid-career and in professionals from smaller schools. Emotional exhaustion was not a factor. Environmental factors relating to burnout and job satisfaction were also explored. Statistically significant differences on the WES were found on all of the independent variables except the years in the current position variable. The metropolitan environment may have been effective in reducing the amount of burnout felt by this group of student affairs professionals. The study underscored the need for continuing research in burnout for student affairs professionals and for continued professional development throughout the career span.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Murphy, Lynda
Partner: UNT Libraries