n South African Journal of Higher Education - Burnout and engagement of student leaders in a higher education institution

Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Research on burnout in different occupational fields has taken place internationally. However, no studies have been performed on students in higher education institutions in South Africa. The objective of this research was to standardise the MBI-SS and the UWES-SS for student leaders in a South African university. Further objectives included determining the relationships between burnout and engagement, on the one hand, and work stress, optimism, individual and organisational commitment, on the other. A cross-sectional survey design was used. The entire population of student leaders was involved (N = 196). The MBI-SS and the UWESSS, Life Orientation Test Revised, Attitudes Towards Your Organisation Survey and Position Characteristics Survey were administered. The results showed that for the Burnout Model, Emotional Exhaustion was best predicted by Overload, Cynicism by Job Demands and Professional Efficacy by Resources. For the Engagement model, Absorption was best predicted by Resources and Dedication, and Vigour was best predicted by Optimism.

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