The nature of burnout: A study of the three-factor model of burnout in human service and non-human service samples

Authors

  • Brian K. Evans,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Communications, Government of Canada, 1128–300 Slater Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0C8
      Department of Communications, Government of Canada, 1128–300 Slater Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0C8
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  • Donald G. Fischer

    1. University of Saskatchewan
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Department of Communications, Government of Canada, 1128–300 Slater Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0C8

Abstract

The factor structure of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) in a human service sample (teachers) and non-human service sample (computer company employees) was investigated. Critics of the three-factor model underlying the MBI (Garden, 1987, 1989; Shirom, 1989) have suggested that the exhaustion factor represents the only intrinsic dimension of burnout and that the other dimensions, particularly depersonalization, are artifacts of the human service samples used to generate the original structure. Confirmatory factor analysis of four models of the dimensionality of the MBI offered partial support to the critics by showing that depersonalization indicators do not form a coherent factor in the non-human service sample. However, a coherent lack of personal accomplishment factor was found in the non-human service sample. Results are discussed in the context of the ongoing debate on the nature of burnout.

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