n South African Journal of Higher Education - Burnout and engagement in university students : a psychometric analysis of the MBI-SS and UWES-S

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The objectives of this study were firstly to investigate the construct validity, construct equivalence and reliability of adapted versions of the Maslach Burnout Inventory- Student Survey (MBI-SS) and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale-Student (UWESS), secondly to determine the relationship between burnout and engagement, and thirdly to determine whether differences in burnout and engagement exist for different demographical groups. A cross-sectional survey design was used with an availability sample of Afrikaans- and Setswana-speaking students at a tertiary institution ( = 353). The MBI-SS and UWES-S as well as a biographical questionnaire were administered. Structural equation modelling confirmed a two- factor structure (as opposed to a one-factor structure) for each instrument. The two-factor structure for burnout and engagement was also largely equivalent for the two language groups. All four scales were found to be reliable. The burnout and engagement scales were moderately negatively related to each other, with stronger relationships between exhaustion and vigour and between cynicism and dedication. Demographic variables that appear to be predictive of differences in student burnout include home language, while engagement was related to home language and academic year of study.

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