How do academicians cope with occupational stressors to alleviate burnout? The experience of a research university

Mohd Shaiful Azlan Kassim, Rosnah Ismail, Hanizah Mohd Yusoff, Noor Hassim Ismail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: University academicians are struggling to engage in teaching, supervision, research and publication. The purpose of this paper is to determine how academicians cope with the various burdens of academia work stressors to overcome burnout. Design/methodology/approach: A cross-sectional study was conducted from January to July 2017. In total, 327 research university academicians were selected using a proportional stratified randomized sampling. Validated measures were used to collect data on perceived work stressors (teaching, research, interpersonal conflicts and career development), coping strategies (adaptive and maladaptive coping) and perceived burnout (emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalization and personal accomplishment (PA)). The data were gathered via computer assisted self-interviewing (CASI). The research statistical model was tested by two-steps of assessment replicating covariance-based structural equation modeling (CB-SEM) with bootstrapping procedure to generalize the sample to the hypothesized model. Findings: Overall data fit the hypothesized model well (CMIN/df=1.788, GFI=0.833, CFI=0.921, TLI=0.916, RMSEA=0.047) with various degree of explanatory value for EE, depersonalization and PA were 60, 49 and 22 percent, respectively. Academicians were resilient against the burden of teaching. However, they did adopt coping mechanisms to overcome research challenges and interpersonal conflicts. The effects of research and interpersonal conflicts on tri-dimensional burnout mediated by maladaptive coping (f2 effect size=0.37) had a larger effect than interpersonal conflicts toward burnout mediated by adaptive coping (f2 effect size=0.02). Practical implications: Academicians adopt maladaptive coping for research and interpersonal conflicts to suppress burnout. An integrative approach at both organization and individual levels is crucial to enhance appropriate coping mechanism to curb with burnout among the academicians of a research university. Originality/value: This is the first study in Malaysia which uniquely estimate the effects of academician’s work stressors toward burnout with introducing coping strategies as mediators toward work stressors and burnout relationship which has been analyzed via CB-SEM.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Mental Health
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2019

Fingerprint

Research
Depersonalization
Teaching
Malaysia
Statistical Models
Publications
Cross-Sectional Studies
Conflict (Psychology)

Keywords

  • Burnout
  • Coping strategies
  • Mediation
  • Work stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

How do academicians cope with occupational stressors to alleviate burnout? The experience of a research university. / Kassim, Mohd Shaiful Azlan; Ismail, Rosnah; Mohd Yusoff, Hanizah; Ismail, Noor Hassim.

In: Journal of Public Mental Health, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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