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Examining burnout in employed university students

Kristin M. Schramer (Department of Psychology, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada)
Carolyn M. Rauti (Department of Psychology, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada)
Arief B. Kartolo (Department of Psychology, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada)
Catherine T. Kwantes (Department of Psychology, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada)

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Article publication date: 24 October 2019

Issue publication date: 23 March 2020




Burnout has been studied by organizational researchers for nearly 50 years (Maslach and Schaufeli, 2017; Schaufeli et al., 2009); however, little attention is given to burnout experienced by employed students who may be prone to the symptoms of burnout as they juggle multiple demanding roles. Burnout in employed students has previously been conceptualized as a bi-factor model consisting of three dimensions: general burnout, apathy and exhaustion (see Rauti et al., 2019 for further information). The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate a novel and theoretically driven tool to assess burnout in employed students.


A sample of 239 employed undergraduate students from a university in southwestern Ontario completed an online survey which included the University of Windsor Employed Student Burnout Survey. Participants also completed six additional measures for scale validation purposes.


Confirmatory factor analysis supported a four-factor model of the employed student burnout scale: apathy toward employment, exhaustion toward employment, apathy toward academics and exhaustion toward academics. The findings also supported a bi-factor version of the four-factor model. Correlation analyses provided evidence for convergent and divergent validity.


The experience of burnout for employed students is unique as employed students balance the demands of work and school simultaneously. This research suggests that experiences of burnout from work and burnout from school may be distinct from one another and that burnout is context specific.



Schramer, K.M., Rauti, C.M., Kartolo, A.B. and Kwantes, C.T. (2020), "Examining burnout in employed university students", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 17-25.



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