The Effects of Job Demands and Resources on School Counselor Burnout: Self‐Efficacy as a Mediator
This study investigated the predictive factors of school counselor burnout informed by the job demands–resources model. Structural equation modeling was conducted with a nationwide sample of school counselors (N = 993). The results revealed that caseload and perceived organizational support were predictive of school counselor burnout. In addition, job resources indirectly influenced school counselor burnout mediated by self-efficacy. Implications for preventing school counselor burnout and promoting professional self-efficacy are discussed.
School counselor burnout and its deleterious effect on their professional and personal well-being have recently received increased attention in counseling research, with findings indicating that school counselors are likely to experience unique work-related challenges that leave them especially vulnerable to workplace stress and burnout (Bardhoshi et al., 2014; Butler & Constantine, 2005; Gnilka et al., 2015; Moyer, 2011; Mullen et al., 2017). Burnout is characterized by three core dimensions that involve feelings of overwhelming emotional exhaustion along with cynicism and detachment from one's job as well as a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment (Maslach et al., 2001). In addition to these dimensions, counseling researchers have identified a negative work environment and deterioration in one's personal life as unique components of counselor burnout (Lee et al., 2007).
Burnout-associated factors that may negatively impact the work experiences of school counselors include multiple and increasing demands, unmanageable caseloads, working in unsupportive systems, and receiving little to no supervision (Culbreth et al., 2005; Duncan et al., 2014; McCarthy et al., 2010; Moyer, 2011; Puig et al., 2012; Wilkerson & Bellini, 2006). Across studies of school counselors, researchers have broadly conceptualized relevant factors into three categories: (a) demographic factors, such as age and years of counseling experience (Bardhoshi et al., 2014; Moyer, 2011); (b) intrapersonal factors, such as self-efficacy, self-esteem, coping strategies, emotional intelligence, and ego development level (Butler & Constantine, 2005; Gunduz, 2012; Gutierrez & Mullen, 2016; Lambie, 2007); and (c) environmental/organizational factors, such as workload, social supports, organizational leadership, and role perceptions (Bardhoshi et al., 2014; Wilkerson & Bellini, 2006; Yildirim, 2008). These factors in combination may place school counselors at risk for burnout (Lambie, 2007; Wilkerson & Bellini, 2006), potentially becoming a liability to themselves, the school, and their students.