Date of Award
Master of Pyschology
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
Dr Susan Gee
The relationship between university lecturers' perceived stress, use of humour to cope with stress, optimism, pessimism, and burnout was investigated. Participants included 180 lecturers from a range of Perth universities and disciplines. Questionnaire packages were delivered to the participants at their universities and were later returned to the researcher by mail. A principle components analysis was first performed on the Life Orientation Test-Revised, a self-report instrument designed to measure optimism, and demonstrated support for a two-dimensional model of optimism and pessimism. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was subsequently conducted to determine the ability of perceived stress, humour, optimism, and pessimism, followed by the interactions between perceived stress and humour, optimism, and pessimism, and then gender to predict lecturers' burnout. The results revealed that after perceived stress had been accounted for, humour and optimism had a significant main effect on burnout. Pessimism and gender were not significant unique predictors of burnout. The interactions between perceived stress humour, optimism, and pessimism did not predict burnout. The findings highlight the role of humour and optimism in predicting burnout, and the implications for burnout prevention strategies.
Fairclough, N. R. (1998). Burnout in academics : the role of humour and optimism as stress buffers. Retrieved from http://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses/995