Role overload, social support, and burnout among nursing educators.

The Journal of nursing education

PubMedID: 2156971

Fong CM. Role overload, social support, and burnout among nursing educators. J Nurs Educ. 1990;29(3):102-8.
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between role overload, social support, and burnout among nursing educators. Ninety percent (N = 141) of nursing educators from eight campuses of the California State University system completed a four-part questionnaire. Later, in-depth interviews were conducted with 30 nursing educators and five chairpersons. The findings indicated that a demanding job correlated, significantly and positively with almost all aspects of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization of students, and decreased sense of accomplishment). The degree of support from one's chairperson and peers correlated significantly and negatively with almost all aspects of burnout. The findings from the interviews verified these relationships. In the hierarchical regression analyses, a demanding job was the most important predictor of emotional exhaustion. Lack of peer support was the most important predictor of depersonalization towards students. Chairperson support was the most important predictor of a person's sense of accomplishment. Social support did not serve as a buffer against the negative effects of overload on burnout. It was concluded that attempts to alleviate burnout must directly address the extent of overload or the lack of support. Any attempt to mitigate the overload-burnout relationship by merely amplifying the amount of support is not likely to be effective.