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The 2 × 2 Model of Goal Orientation and Burnout: The Role of Approach–Avoidance Dimensions in Predicting Burnout


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Loren J. Naidoo, Psychology Department, Box B8-215, Baruch College, CUNY, 55 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010. E-mail:


Burnout is typically viewed as resulting from situational factors (e.g., workload). However, as burnout is partly a reaction to frustrated goal striving, dispositional goal orientation may also be important. We used Hobfoll's (1989) conservation of resources model to develop hypotheses for relationships between goal orientation and 3 dimensions of burnout. Self-report questionnaire measures of the 2 × 2 model of goal orientation (Elliot & McGregor, 2001) and burnout were administered to undergraduate students. Structural equation modeling revealed that all 4 dimensions of goal orientation were related to burnout. Avoidance-related dimensions were positively associated and approach-related dimensions were negatively associated with burnout. The findings suggest the importance of considering the role of motivational dispositions in development, prediction, and prevention of burnout.