Work stressors, distress, and burnout: the role of coping strategies

Authors

  • Boris Popov Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Marijana Miljanović Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Maja Stojaković Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Jelena Matanović Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, Serbia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.19090/pp.2013.4.355-370

Keywords:

seeking social support, problem solving, avoidance, distress, burnout

Abstract

Despite a large number of research, literature on coping strategies, their effects on burnout symptoms, and occupational stress in general is still somewhat inconclusive. Generally, it is considered that, for instance, using an active problem solving strategy usually alleviates burnout, while using an avoidant strategy will more likely boost its symptoms. Still, there are many authors who claim that measuring coping strategies in such a general way does not help in determining their effectiveness, and that there is no 'one best way' of coping. The main aim of the present study is to test the possible mediating role of coping strategies in the relationship between stressors, distress, and burnout. A total number of 264 respondents (152 female [57.6%]) participated in the study. They completed the Sources of Stress Scale, the Coping Strategies Indicators, a distress scale from the 4-dimensional Symptoms Questionnaire, and a work burnout scale from the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory. Results of the path analysis showed that work stressors exercised a significant direct effect on both distress and burnout. Moreover, distress also had a direct effect on burnout. Finally, contrary to the hypotheses, none of the three coping strategies proved to be the mediators in these relationships. The results once again call researchers to redirect their attention to specific contexts in which coping strategies are used and to focus more on specific coping behaviors. Such efforts would help us clarify what thoughts and actions are more or less helpful in the prevention of distress and burnout.

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Published

26.12.2013

How to Cite

Popov, B., Miljanović, M., Stojaković, M., & Matanović, J. (2013). Work stressors, distress, and burnout: the role of coping strategies. Primenjena Psihologija, 6(4), 355–370. https://doi.org/10.19090/pp.2013.4.355-370

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