Job burnout: The contribution of emotional stability and emotional self-efficacy beliefs

Consistent with insights from both trait and social cognitive theories, this study presents a theoretical model positing emotional self-efficacy beliefs in managing negative emotions at work as a key mechanism that contributes to mediate the negative relationship between emotional stability – a trait highly associated with positive affect and mental health – and job burnout. To test this assertion, a two-wave study using a representative sample of 416 new military cadets of an Italian military academy was designed. Military cadets were involved in the study 2 months after their entrance into the academy and then again, a year later. Results from structural equation modelling supported the hypothesized model. As predicted, self-efficacy beliefs in managing negative emotions at work significantly mediated the longitudinal relation between emotional stability and job burnout, even after controlling for the effect of the other Big Five traits, education, previous experience in military contexts, gender, and age. Practical implications and directions for future research are discussed. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that self-efficacy in managing negative emotions at work represents an important mechanism linking emotional stability level to burnout symptoms.

Source: Alessandri, G., Perinelli, E., De Longis, E., Schaufeli, W. B., Theodorou, A., Borgogni, L., ... et Cinque, L. (2018). Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

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