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Burnout among high school counsellors Hooper, James T. 1998

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BURNOUT AMONG HIGH S C H O O L COUNSELLORS  by J A M E S T. H O O P E R B.A. (Hons.), University of Manitoba, 1969 B.J. (Hons.), Carleton University, 1972 M.A., McGill University, 1972  A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S FOR T H E D E G R E E O F MASTER O F ARTS in T H E FACULTY O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S (Department of Counselling Psychology)  W e accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  T H E UNIVERSITY O F BRITISH C O L U M B I A September 1998 © J a m e s T. Hooper, 1998  In  presenting  degree freely  at  this  the  available  copying  of  department publication  of  in  partial  fulfilment  of  the  University  of  British  Columbia,  I  agree  for  this or  thesis  reference  thesis by  this  for  his thesis  and  study.  scholarly  or for  her  I further  purposes  gain  permission.  Department  of  T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f British Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6  (2/88)  Jc^TJ^d^  Columbia  2 9. / ? 9 f  that  agree  may  be  It  is  representatives.  financial  requirements  shall  not  that  the  Library  an  granted  by  allowed  advanced  shall  permission  understood be  for  the that  without  for head  make  it  extensive of  my  copying  or  my  written  Abstract  T h e psychological well-being of those w h o counsel adolescents is an important issue, but there has been little research on the topic. Burnout f r o m job-related stress in the helping professions has b e e n s h o w n to influence negatively the professionals' job satisfaction and p e r f o r m a n c e by eroding their benevolence a n d commitment.  Three aspects of burnout —  emotional  exhaustion, depersonalization, a n d impaired personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t —  were  m e a s u r e d in this study. T h e High School Counsellor Questionnaire, designed for this investigation, w a s mailed to 265 m e m b e r s of the British Columbia School Counsellors Association w h o w e r e working in high schools. T h e return rate w a s 6 1 . 5 1 % ; the usable N w a s 157. T h e questionnaire m e a s u r e d the extent of counsellors' burnout and their perception of their o w n social support (from family, friends and others) and administrative support (defined as support from the principal). T h e questionnaire also gathered information on selected personal a n d job characteristics of the counsellor: age, gender, counselling experience, level of education, school size, a n d proportion of work time devoted to counselling. Burnout levels were s h o w n by t -tests to be low in relation to Maslach Burnout Inventory norms for mental health professionals except on the emotional exhaustion scale, where counsellors' scores w e r e significantly higher  (t =4.26; p < . 0 0 1 ) . This result m a y reflect the ambiguity of the counsellors' role, a n d ever-increasing d e m a n d s on their time a n d energy.  ii  T h e association of burnout with the independent variables w a s explored by correlation, multiple regression analysis, t -tests, and o n e - w a y A N O V A .  As  e x p e c t e d , burnout w a s generally negatively correlated with perceived social a n d administrative support.  Gender, age, education, counselling experience,  and school size w e r e not significantly associated with burnout.  Percentage of  work time designated for counselling w a s significantly ( r = . 2 6 ; p < 0 1 ) correlated with feelings of personal accomplishment. Future research might consider the principal's gender, and counsellors' specific work duties, case loads, paperwork burden, role ambiguity, collegial support, marital status, caregiver role at home, and coping strategies for dealing with stress.  iii  Table of Contents Abstract  ii  Table of Contents  iv  List of Tables  vi  List of Figures  vii  Foreword  viii  Chapter I The Problem  1  Introduction to the Problem S t a t e m e n t of the Problem Rationale for the S t u d y Definitions Delimitations Limitations  1 2 2 3 5 5  Chapter II Review of the Literature  Chapter  8  Burnout Perceived Social Support Perceived Administrative Support Article Review  8 14 17 21  Hypotheses and Methodology  28  Hypotheses Methodology Design Data Collection a n d Procedures Population a n d S a m p l e Procedures Measures Data Analysis, Organization and Interpretation  28 31 31 31 31 32 33 38  III  iv  Chapter IV Results  41  Participants Overview of the Data Levels of Burnout Multivariate T e s t s Regression Burnout a n d Exploratory Variables Relationships a m o n g Independent Variables  41 46 46 49 49 53 56  Chapter V Discussion  59  S u m m a r y and Implications Social a n d Administrative Support Other Relevant Variables Regression Exploratory Variables Relationships a m o n g Independent Variables Levels of Burnout Further Discussion R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s for Future Research  59 59 61 64 67 69 73 75 79  85  References Appendix A. B. C.  Notes on Returns and Scoring Covering Letter High School Counsellor Questionnaire  90 92 94  v  List of Tables  1.  Means, S t a n d a r d Deviations and Correlations a m o n g All Variables  2. Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) Means and Standard Deviations  47 48  3. Correlations between Burnout and Independent Variables E m p l o y e d in the Multiple Regression Analysis  50  4. Stepwise Multiple Regression of Independent Variables on Emotional Exhaustion  51  5. Stepwise Multiple Regression of Independent Variables on Depersonalization  52  6. Stepwise Multiple Regression of Independent Variables on Personal Accomplishment  53  7. Means, Standard Deviations, and F Values of Burnout Scores by Level of Education  54  8. Means, Standard Deviations, and F Values of Burnout Scores by School Size  55  9. Means, Standard Deviations, and F Values of Administrative Support and Percentage Counselling by School Size  57  10. Means, Standard Deviations, and t Values of Administrative Support and Social Support by G e n d e r  58  vi  List of Figures  1. Participants by Age  42  2. Participants by Gender  42  3. Participants by Experience  43  4. Participants by Education  44  5.  44  Participants by School Size  6. Participants by Percentage of T i m e Counselling  45  vii  Foreword  For their help with this research, I thank m y thesis committee: m y supervisor, Dr. Bill Borgen; Dr. Beth Haverkamp; a n d Dr. Frank Echols, of the Department of Educational Studies. T h a n k s also to Dr. Chris Lovato, then of the Institute for Health Promotion Research, in w h o s e Counselling Psychology  579  class this research w a s e n v i s a g e d ; the British C o l u m b i a School Counsellors Association for their co-operation; a n d the m a n y high school counsellors w h o helped m e with suggestions a n d in the piloting of m y questionnaire.  viii  Chapter I The Problem Introduction to the Problem  " W h o will care for the caregivers?" B y the time the expression  burnout  first a p p e a r e d in t h e psychological literature in the mid-1970s, this compelling question w a s d e c a d e s old, perhaps centuries. But the concept of burnout f o c u s e d a n e w the attention of theorists a n d researchers o n the often intense personal strain suffered by counsellors, priests, doctors, nurses, social w o r k e r s a n d others w h o deal regularly with people w h o are in physical or emotional pain. Stress has been s h o w n in a myriad of studies to have a n adverse effect on physical a n d mental health (Phillips, 1982; Long & Kahn, 1993; Capner & Caltabiano, 1993; Dryden, 1995). It is ironic but understandable that although counsellors have devised programs to help persons m a n a g e stress, m a n y counsellors t h e m s e l v e s have trouble handling stress, particularly job-related stress. W o r k e r s , including counsellors, in person-oriented occupations have b e e n s h o w n to b e particularly at risk for burnout, which has been s h o w n to have a negative influence o n j o b satisfaction a n d performance (Brady, Healy, Norcross & Guy, 1995, pp. 8-10). Burnout has b e e n s h o w n to rob h u m a n service w o r k e r s of their idealism and benevolence a n d thus of m u c h of their effectiveness. " W h e n helping professionals b e c o m e less caring a n d c o m p a s s i o n a t e , t h e quality of care  1  declines" (Cherniss, 1995, p. 197). T h e toll o n w o r k e r s a n d organizations in t e r m s of health problems, absenteeism, a n d inefficiency is considerable, a n d the importance of finding solutions is widely a c k n o w l e d g e d .  Statement of the Problem  Although considerable research has b e e n done in several separate, a n d s o m e t i m e s linked, areas — work stress, social support, burnout, supervisory behaviour, job —  counsellor attitudes, a n d characteristics of the counsellor a n d of the  t h e relationships a m o n g s o m e of these elements have not b e e n  established. In particular, little is k n o w n about burnout in high school counsellors. A recent, c o m p r e h e n s i v e book presenting research findings about stress in counselling (Dryden, 1995) has chapters o n just about every conceivable counselling setting except t h e school. Interventions for burnout in counselling a n d other helping professions have b e e n designed, but their effectiveness is often h a m p e r e d by lacunae in the research (for a review, see Kahili, 1988). Counsellor self-care is another potential remedy, but its m e t h o d s a n d effectiveness are subjects of controversy (for a review, s e e Williams, 1995).  Rationale for the Study  Before meaningful action c a n be t a k e n to combat burnout a n d its negative c o n s e q u e n c e s o n high school counsellors, factors that have a n impact on burnout need to be identified. A s no article on burnout a m o n g high school professionals in C a n a d a —  2  or high school counsellors a n y w h e r e — w a s f o u n d in the literature, this is a pioneering study. It aims to offer researchers s o m e information on which future investigations a n d interventions c a n be b a s e d . Counsellors t h e m s e l v e s also need to know about elements of their personal a n d work situations that are related to burnout. T h e results of this study will, it is hoped, be disseminated a m o n g British C o l u m b i a high school counsellors through their professional association, the British C o l u m b i a School Counsellors Association, a n d perhaps m o r e widely through publication of the results. S u c h information will aid t h e m in understanding burnout and m a y reduce the feelings of isolation experienced by m a n y counsellors, especially those affected b y burnout. This study focuses on two major potential influences on burnout a m o n g these counsellors:  perceived social support and perceived administrative  support. T h e influence on burnout of counsellors' gender, age, counselling experience, level of education, school size, a n d percentage of work time designated for counselling will be considered a s well. T h r e e aspects of burnout — emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and impaired personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t — will be m e a s u r e d .  Definitions  This investigation's three key c o n c e p t s are burnout, perceived  support, a n d perceived  administrative  support.  social  T h e s e t e r m s are defined  succinctly in this section according to the respective models c h o s e n for use in the study. Elaborations on the three terms will be f o u n d in the review of the literature in the next chapter.  3  Burnout: O n e of the leading theoreticians and researchers in the burnout field is the A m e r i c a n social psychologist Christina Maslach.  Her definition of the  burnout p h e n o m e n o n is a d o p t e d for this study: Burnout is a s y n d r o m e of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, a n d reduced personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t that c a n occur a m o n g individuals w h o do "people work" . . . It is a response to the chronic emotional strain of dealing extensively with other h u m a n beings, particularly w h e n they are troubled or having problems . . . the stress arises f r o m the social interaction between helper and recipient (Maslach, 1982, p. 3).  Emotional  exhaustion  is defined as feelings of depletion, overextension,  fatigue — a s e n s e that one can no longer give at a psychological level.  Depersonalization  refers to unfeeling, impersonal a n d s o m e t i m e s  cynical responses to other people a n d their problems.  Reduced  personal  accomplishment  d e n o t e s a t e n d e n c y to evaluate  one's o w n job p e r f o r m a n c e negatively, and to be dissatisfied and unfulfilled in one's w o r k with others (Maslach & J a c k s o n , 1 9 8 1 , p. 1).  Perceived social support: C o b b (1976), in a seminal article on the subject, defined perceived social support a s information leading people t o o n e or more of three beliefs: that they are cared for a n d loved, that they are e s t e e m e d and valued, and that they belong to a network of c o m m u n i c a t i o n a n d social obligation. This conceptualization, as developed by later researchers including C u t r o n a a n d Russell (1987) and Vaux, Phillips, Holly, T h o m s o n , Williams a n d Stewart (1986), is used in the present investigation.  4  Perceived administrative support: According to Arends (1982), w h o s e model of administrative support is e m p l o y e d in this inquiry, the principal's support is crucial to t h e work of the other professionals in the school. A r e n d s describes perceived administrative support a s teachers' a n d counsellors' belief that their principal offers t h e m t h e professional, material a n d emotional support they need to d o their jobs in a n effective a n d fulfilling way. S u c h support includes, for instance, the principal's explicit statements of support for programs and workers, smoothing the w a y for workers to clarify their work roles a n d to resolve conflict, defending e m p l o y e e s from criticism, giving t h e m s o m e t h i n g of value (such as money, time, comfortable office space), a n d offering time a n d attention to e m p l o y e e s ' work a n d concerns.  Delimitations  This study will make no attempt to investigate counsellors in a n y setting other t h a n the high school. Similarly, it will measure burnout only, not neurotic s y m p t o m s , depression, physical problems, absenteeism, or other manifestations of stress. Moreover, the significant issue of identifying specific sources of counsellor stress must be left to other researchers (for reviews of this work, s e e C o h e n , 1988; Wessells, 1989).  Limitations  Conclusions derived from this inquiry will of course be limited b y the sample. T h e r e is a need for caution in generalizing b e y o n d the province w h e r e the research w a s conducted, a n d beyond the participants' constellation of  5  personal a n d job characteristics. Additionally, the participants w e r e volunteers; it is difficult to know how this self-selection influenced the data. Findings are also limited by the written format of the survey. Moreover, they need to be interpreted in the light of validity concerns associated with self-report measures. Observations, record searches, a n d peer a n d supervisory ratings could be e m p l o y e d in later studies to develop further both our understanding of counsellor burnout a n d the validity of its m e a s u r e m e n t . T h e r e are a number of specific limitations. O n e is the study's use of the Administrative Support Measure, which w a s devised for the purposes of this research a n d which, although piloted, d o e s not benefit from d o c u m e n t e d evidence of its reliability or validity.  Unfortunately,  there w a s no valid instrument available to m e a s u r e administrative support in the sense it is defined for this investigation. A s e c o n d limitation is that there m a y be s o m e overlap b e t w e e n social support and administrative support a s m e a s u r e d , respectively, by the Social Support Appraisals Scale a n d the Administrative Support Measure.  This  multicollinearity m a y arise b e c a u s e the Social Support Appraisals Scale d o e s hot restrict respondents from considering their principal as a friend while responding to the survey; s o m e respondents may, indeed, think of their principals as friends and think of t h e m w h e n considering the support of friends and "other people". However, this is likely to be only a minor problem. T h e s a m e difficulty would arise f r o m using any of the instruments evaluating social support that were considered for use in the present research. T h e Social Support Appraisals Scale w a s c h o s e n for its e a s e of use a n d because considerable information about its properties is available. A third limitation of the study is that s o m e high school counsellors are not  6  m e m b e r s of their provincial specialist association, the B. C. School Counsellors Association, and thus, for reasons to be explained, w e r e far less likely than w e r e m e m b e r s to participate in the study. It is impossible to know the effect of this difference on the results. Perhaps being a m e m b e r of the association would heighten a counsellor's perceived social support; however, it is possible too that counsellors w h o feel well supported socially w o u l d be less inclined to join the association. A fourth limitation is the possibility that a few counsellors might have been reluctant to respond in a w a y that s e e m e d negative to s o m e items on administrative support. This reluctance, if indeed it did exist, might have s t e m m e d from loyalty to the principal or f r o m hesitation about making an unfavourable appraisal of a principal's p e r f o r m a n c e w h e n the two had not discussed the counsellor's discontent.  However, this problem is not likely to be  major, and in any case is inherent in this type of research. A fifth, and more important, limitation of the study is similarly present in all other research using correlational m e t h o d s : No inference about causation m a y be d r a w n . Although t e r m s s u c h as predict  a n d explain  m a y be used to link the  independent variables to the d e p e n d e n t ones, the w o r d cause must be avoided b e c a u s e the direction of influence a m o n g the variables c a n n o t be proven.  7  Chapter II Review of the Literature In this chapter, there is further information about this study's three key concepts.  T h e n , there is a review of the literature o n researchers' various  attempts to link t w o or more of the variables explored in the present investigation.  Burnout  Sisyphus, the mythical ancient Greek c o n d e m n e d to a dreadful eternity of repeatedly pushing a stone up a mountain only to have it roll all the w a y d o w n again, is the archetypal candidate for a m o d e r n syndrome.  His frustrating, futile,  hopeless a n d unaided labour w o u l d quickly induce in him t h e emotional, spiritual and physical depletion that has c o m e to be k n o w n as burnout. This w o r d has long b e e n used popularly to describe fatigue or mild depression, but the term entered the literature of psychology in 1974. Herbert Freudenberger, an A m e r i c a n psychoanalyst w h o had w o r k e d alongside strained colleagues in the free-clinic movement, conceived of burnout as the exhaustion of the energy a n d resources of social service w o r k e r s a n d helping professionals as a result of the incessant pressures of working with d e m a n d i n g a n d needy individuals.  He described burnout as physical or emotional  depletion, apathy, disillusionment, or low morale c a u s e d by the stress of work (Freudenberger, 1974). Various conceptualizations of the p h e n o m e n o n d e v e l o p e d , with t h e  8  result that present-day dictionaries give diverse but interlocking definitions of burnout.  For example: "extinction of energy, motivation or incentive" (Third  Barnhart Dictionary of N e w English); "a total loss of energy and interest a n d an inability to function effectively, experienced as a result of excessive d e m a n d s upon one's resources or chronic overwork" (Collins English Dictionary); a n d "emotional exhaustion, s o m e t i m e s a c c o m p a n i e d by depression, c a u s e d by attempting to help mentally disordered people or others under severe stress" (The International Dictionary of Psychology). T h e last definition encapsulates the two most prominent a n d enduring conceptualizations of burnout a n d those on which the most research is based — those of three social psychologists working in the United States. Christina Maslach defines burnout as "a s y n d r o m e of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, a n d reduced personal accomplishment that can occur a m o n g individuals w h o do 'people w o r k ' . . . a response to the chronic emotional strain of dealing extensively with other h u m a n beings, particularly w h e n they are troubled or having problems . . . t h e stress arises from the social interaction between helper and recipient" (Maslach, 1982, p. 3). A y a l a Pines and Elliot A r o n s o n s a y burnout is "subjectively experienced as a state of physical, emotional a n d mental exhaustion c a u s e d by long-term involvement in situations that are emotionally d e m a n d i n g " (Pines & A r o n s o n , 1988, p. 9). T h e s e are the two predominant definitions, but there is a welter of other ones, and they vary in style as well as in content. S o m e definitions include causes, s o m e mention consequences, a n d s o m e give only s y m p t o m s . Partly as a result of this variation, the borderline separating burnout from such disorders as depression a n d anxiety is s o m e t i m e s blurred. While an understanding of 9  depression, anxiety a n d related problems m a y be very helpful to burnout researchers, a specific e m p h a s i s on burnout is desirable. T h e r e appears to be a g a p b e t w e e n the theoretical w o r k on burnout a n d the various anti-burnout programs that have b e e n implemented.  In reviewing  interventions designed to forestall or reduce burnout, one is struck by how tentative and piecemeal they are and h o w their developers appear to be grasping to m a k e connections to the theory rather than, as o n e might expect, to be lifting the interventions from a theoretical base (e.g. Pines & Maslach, 1980; C o r c o r a n & Bryce, 1983; Carrilio & Eisenberg, 1984; Pines & Aronson, 1988; H y m a n , 1993). Often it appears they are trying to devise something that works, a n d theory is an afterthought. T h e r e is an unmistakeable air of, "Let's see w h a t works" a n d even of the twisted adage, "It m a y work in practice, but it will never work in theory."  T w o noted psychotherapists put it more eloquently:  Unfortunately, m u c h of the advice [about dealing with burnout] s e e m s f r a g m e n t e d , pointing to theoretical f r a m e s of reference that are incomplete and underdeveloped in the literature. W e believe that in order to deal with the problem of professional exhaustion, an integrated theory must be constructed w h i c h e n c o m p a s s e s the various underlying causes. O n l y after s u c h an integrated paradigm is developed can valid a n d effective solutions for prevention and treatment of burnout be formulated (Grosch & Olsen, 1994, p. xii). Although the w o r d burnout  is occasionally e x t e n d e d , in popular a n d e v e n  professional writing, to describe psychological strain unrelated to work,  the  original, job-related s e n s e of the term is used here. Also, our attention is on research on counsellors, therapists, social workers and the like rather t h a n on medical or other personnel. 10  Burnout is absent as a diagnosis f r o m the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), the bible of m a n y of the mental health professionals w h o design research into, and treatment for, stressrelated difficulties. Burnout w a s likewise absent f r o m previous versions of the manual. T h e social psychologists' burnout research s e e m s not to have p e r m e a t e d the world view of the psychiatrists w h o determine the contents of the D S M . Perhaps the psychiatrists s e e burnout a s a set of troublesome workrelated attitudes rather than as a clinical s y n d r o m e .  In D S M - I V the closest  category to burnout is V 6 2 . 2 — Occupational P r o b l e m ; two e x a m p l e s given are job dissatisfaction a n d uncertainty about career choices (American Psychiatric Association, 1994, p. 685). In devising research a n d interventions, professionals m a y w a n t to b a s e their work explicitly on categories in the D S M for any number of reasons: Possibly they find it easier to get funding, or burnout s o m e h o w s e e m s an unofficial or casual diagnosis, or psychiatrists don't want to hear about a s y n d r o m e if it is not in "the book", or other factors are involved. Whatever the case, the absence of burnout from the D S M m a y be o n e reason for (or o n e c o n s e q u e n c e of) the lack of an integrated view of the s y n d r o m e across various disciplines. Burnout has b e e n recognized, though, in the latest edition of the international diagnostic m a n u a l , the International Classification of Diseases  —  T e n t h Edition (ICD-10). Burnout is a new diagnosis, c o d e d Z73.0, in a section called S u p p l e m e n t a r y Classification of Factors Influencing Health Status and Contact with Health Services. No criteria are given, but at least the inclusion of burnout represents a c h a n g e f r o m previous editions, w h e r e burnout w a s not mentioned. In ICD-9, for instance, "adverse effects of work environment" and "other occupational circumstances or maladjustment" w e r e the categories 11  closest to burnout. T h e recent inclusion of burnout in the ICD-10 m a y be a significant step toward specific m e a s u r e s to fight the s y n d r o m e . (World Health Organization, 1992, p. 3 1 0 ; G r o s c h & Olsen, 1994, p. 136). At all events, m u c h of the scholarly literature on burnout is devoted to the conceptualization, prevalence, prevention a n d treatment of burnout rather t h a n to its etiology. Most articles, both the descriptive and the prescriptive ones, are either impressionistic, personal, anecdotal, philosophical, or small-scale, or s o m e combination of these. Empirical studies are scarce. A glance at the elements f o u n d to be associated with burnout provides a useful context for our discussion. In a meta-analysis, Soderfeldt, Soderfeldt, and W a r g (1995, p. 642) s u m m a r i z e factors s h o w n by various researchers to be related to the three scales of the Maslach Burnout Inventory, the most c o m m o n l y used measure.  Factors related to emotional exhaustion scores included role  conflict, b o r e d o m , low job satisfaction, intention to c h a n g e jobs, and working with chronically ill patients.  Related to depersonalization scores w e r e value  conflict, high education level, caseload, and lack of supervisory support. Factors related to personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t scores included role ambiguity, b a d working conditions, unfair promotional practices, public sector work, T y p e A personality, and a dearth of t e a m support. Other perspectives include that of Freudenberger, w h o is a psychoanalyst.  He sees burnout mainly as an internal, personal matter, a result  of the d i c h o t o m y b e t w e e n a person's expectations a n d reality, although he d o e s not entirely rule out the importance of organizational factors in creating or preventing burnout (Freudenberger, 1983, p. 27). By contrast, s o m e behaviouroriented stress consultants see burnout as a type of strain lodged in the body, t h o u g h they are not clear about how the process w o r k s ; they s o m e t i m e s favour 12  treatments such a s systematic desensitization, biofeedback a n d y o g a (Farber, 1983, p. 15). A more philosophical a p p r o a c h is taken by certain c o m m u n i t y psychologists, w h o see burnout resulting from a w e a k c o m m i t m e n t to socially relevant work rather than from excessive c o m m i t m e n t to a job. "Burnout is not a problem of individual coping or adaptation. . . Burnout results f r o m the loss of moral purpose a n d c o m m i t m e n t in work" (Cherniss & Krantz, 1983, p. 211). T h e y s a y the cure is on a social level and call for formation of "ideological communities" of like-minded persons working t o w a r d c o m m o n goals.  Cherniss  and Krantz give the e x a m p l e s of Montessori workers and nuns, w h o w o r k long hours but have a mission; however, the authors claim that the concept can be extended widely into the work world. In a similar vein, counsellor educator J . M. Day asserts that the motivation that m a d e s o m e o n e into a counsellor in the first place must be maintained a n d continually refreshed if both well-being a n d effectiveness are to endure (Day, 1994). O n the other hand, a number of family s y s t e m s theorists (e.g. Ulrich & Dunne, 1986) see burnout as an effect of unresolved conflict in a person's current family or family of origin. S o m e organizational consultants favour yet another a p p r o a c h : "Since w e believe that continuous a n d prolonged uncertainty is the basis for burnout, the most effective interventions are those that are directed at reducing uncertainty" (Selder & Paustian, 1989, p. 79). It is important to note that with burnout, the cure m a y c o m e from a different direction than the cause. T o explain: W h e n one's shoulder is separated, the w a y to fix it is to put it back into place — that is, simply to reverse the dislocation. In the case of burnout, the problem m a y not be reversible; the c a u s e m a y be in the environment and absolutely unalterable.  Therefore, 13  burned-out people m a y have to take c o m p e n s a t o r y action which apparently has nothing to do with the cause of their distress but which m a y build t h e m up s o they m a y handle job stress better. In fact the burnout literature, and particularly the research o n treatment approaches, tends to be b a s e d on the extensive research by social psychologists on coping strategies. This t e n d e n c y is not surprising, as social psychologists f o c u s on the relationship b e t w e e n personal a n d environmental factors; moreover, their research f o r m s the basis of treatment programs designed by counsellors and others. C o p i n g strategies can be conceptualized in several ways, but the most useful distinction s e e m s to be tripartite: 1. individual strategies, things that can be done on one's o w n ; 2. social strategies, things that need the co-operation of several people, typically co-workers, family and friends; a n d 3. organizational strategies, related to administrative policies and actions.  From the s e c o n d category e m e r g e s the t h e m e of social support,  which is the touchstone of m u c h burnout research and the cornerstone of s o m e interventions. From the third category above e m e r g e s the t h e m e of administrative support, which is also seen as a key element in the research. T h e s e t h e m e s are now considered in turn.  Perceived Social Support  While helping professionals generally agree that social support is an important element in promoting health, there is less a g r e e m e n t about exactly what such support is, how it works, and how it can be evaluated. T h e literature that has developed in the last quarter-century on social support is vast, a n d it is m a d e complicated by the fact there are several fundamentally different w a y s of 14  conceptualizing the p h e n o m e n o n , a n d , in c o n s e q u e n c e , m a n y different w a y s of measuring it. Social support has b e e n variously defined, for example, as support available to a person through social ties to other individuals, groups, a n d the c o m m u n i t y ; an interpersonal transaction in which concern, aid and information about oneself a n d the environment are transmitted; an internal state of met needs; a n d the availability of psychosocial resources. In empirical studies, social support has b e e n evaluated, for instance, by the number of people offering it, by various classifications of sources, by its frequency a n d intensity, a n d by satisfaction with it. Diverse researchers have m e a s u r e d social networks, social bonds, meaningful social contacts, and the number of persons in w h o m o n e c a n confide. Most important for this investigation is the distinction between enacted social support (specific support-giving events) a n d perceived social support (the belief that one is or will be supported). T h e latter concept, a s formulated by C o b b (1976) in a seminal article on the subject and developed b y others including C u t r o n a a n d Russell (1987) and Vaux, Phillips, Holly, T h o m s o n , Williams a n d Stewart (1986), is adopted in this study for the following reason. Cobb's thesis, that perception of social support — i.e., information leading a person to believe he or she is cared for, valued, or part of a network of social obligation — is the crucial variable, s e e m s particularly powerful in an investigation of counsellors. S u c h persons often work in relative isolation a n d with troubled individuals; to maintain their perspective a n d their effectiveness, it m a y be they need to know they have social support available. If t h e y in fact have s u c h support but are not fully a w a r e of having it, its allegedly helpful effect m a y be lost o n t h e m . Cobb's concept of social support e m p h a s i z e s the degree 15  of confidence a person has in being valued, cared for, and / or able t o count on others in time of need. According to Barrera: [ K n o w l e d g e of people's subjective appraisals of the a d e q u a c y of support is more critical to the prediction of their well-being than simply collecting information about the number of supporters or the quantity of supportive behaviours to which they have access (Barrera, 1 9 8 1 , p. 85). This phenomenological view p r o m p t e d m u c h further research. C u t r o n a a n d Russell (1987), working on the basis of C o b b ' s model, conceived of six "provisions" or classes of perceived support that m a y be obtained from relationships with others. All six are v i e w e d as important a n d e v e n essential to individuals if they are to feel properly supported and avoid isolation. More than o n e provision m a y be obtained from the s a m e person. T h e provisions are divided into two categories, assistance-related a n d n o n assistance-related. T h e assistance-related category includes t w o provisions, (advice or information) and reliable alliance  guidance  (the belief that others can be  c o u n t e d o n for tangible assistance). T h e non-assistance-related category comprises the other four provisions: reassurance opportunity  of worth (acknowledgment of one's abilities and value by others), for nurturance  being), attachment social integration  (the s e n s e that others d e p e n d on o n e for their well-  (emotional closeness providing a s e n s e of security), and (a sense of belonging to a group that shares interests a n d  recreational activities). T h e s e provisions capture (albeit s o m e t i m e s in different words) the major f o r m s of social support as delineated by several leading theorists. Vaux, Phillips, Holly, T h o m s o n , Williams a n d Stewart (1986) see social 16  support as a meta-construct comprising several constructs: 1. support network resources (the size, structure a n d characteristics of networks); 2. supportive acts (e.g. listening, advising, comforting, lending money, assisting with tasks); a n d 3. subjective appraisals of support (i.e. beliefs that one is cared for, respected, and having one's needs met).  Like C o b b and C u t r o n a and Russell, they see  perceptions of support as the most important of the three aspects: Subjective appraisals of support appear to be especially important in regard to psychological well-being. In several studies, for instance, satisfaction with support or perceived a d e q u a c y of support has s h o w n a stronger relationship to distress or well-being than did social support network m e a s u r e s (Vaux et al., 1986, p. 197).  Perceived Administrative Support  Support within the school s y s t e m for counsellors a n d teachers is widely perceived as a crucial element in developing a healthy school c l i m a t e — a n a t m o s p h e r e that allows adults to work effectively and that p r o m o t e s student learning a n d growth — as well a s in maintaining professional morale.  There  are several a p p r o a c h e s to evaluating such support. S o m e researchers (e.g. Donaldson & Coladarci, 1987) e m p h a s i z e the importance of school climate in general and endeavour to devise w a y s of measuring it. Others (e.g. Sutton & Fall, 1995) m a k e a distinction b e t w e e n supervisory support and collegia! support.  In a number of longitudinal studies of burnout (in school settings,  a m o n g others), lack of supervisory support w a s s h o w n to be a n antecedent of burnout (for a review, see Maslach & Schaufeli, 1993, p. 8). Other investigators have a p p r o a c h e d the matter in a wide-ranging way, attempting to consider the 17  w h o l e social a n d political context, including the influence of governmental attitudes to education, the role of school boards a n d their officials, and the effect of parental involvement in the school. Because this broad a p p r o a c h is b e y o n d the s c o p e of this study, b e c a u s e there is considerable overlap b e t w e e n social support a n d collegial support, a n d b e c a u s e the school's principal is seen t o set the tone in the school, a model of administrative support focusing o n the principal w a s selected for this study.  The  model is that of A r e n d s (1982). M u c h of his work w a s f o c u s e d o n efforts at educational c h a n g e and i m p r o v e m e n t in schools a n d colleges, but the principles he d e v e l o p e d c a n be applied more widely. After studying the d e v e l o p m e n t a n d maintenance of educational p r o g r a m s a n d analyzing m a n y other reports of school climate and the administration's role in developing it, Arends did extensive interviewing of school staff m e m b e r s . In developing a model of administrative support, he relied o n the perceptions of the interviewees as to w h a t behaviours w e r e and w e r e not supportive rather than on signs of program success or on other external m e a s u r e s . Arends did not arrive at a concise definition of administrative  support  but isolated several factors that together represent the  concept: 1. Using verbal statements to support programs a n d workers.  Arends  s a y s this strategy finds support in research in social psychology showing that ideas suggested by persons in positions of authority get a different, more attentive hearing than do ideas c o m i n g f r o m other persons within the system or from outsiders. T h e principal's letting people know that he or she thinks a project or course of action is worthwhile is highly salutary. A r e n d s describes a supportive principal in these t e r m s : "He actively supported the project by 18  speaking out on its virtues at faculty meetings a n d in front of parent groups. He would explain the new program in 'glowing t e r m s ' a n d in w a y s that s h o w e d 'he w a s really concerned about t h e kids'" (Arends, 1982, p. 8 3 ) . 2. Providing workers with a s e n s e of role clarity  and  steadiness.  Structural changes, new ideas, a n d different behavioural expectations c a n all be difficult to handle, particularly at a time of rapid a n d incessant c h a n g e in schools. N e w programs "introduce noise into a system a n d unsettle the steadiness that c o m e s to be expected" (Arends, 1982, p. 83).  Role  clarity  m e a n s that the principal distinguishes the work roles of teachers, counsellors, administrators a n d others from o n e another so as to reduce uncertainty a n d increase confidence in all staff m e m b e r s . Steadiness  in this context m e a n s  keeping projects a n d procedures o n track b y meeting with staff for such reasons as reviewing budgets a n d progress, developing objectives a n d timelines, a n d setting policy. In s u m , Arends f o u n d that supportive administrators s m o o t h e the w a y for school workers to clarify their o w n roles, resolve conflicts, a n d create consistency for t h e m s e l v e s a n d for their students. 3. Defending activities f r o m dissenting voices a n d opposition. Counsellors a n d teachers need this kind of support in the face of an increasingly critical public.  W o r k i n g with children can be particularly o n e r o u s  b e c a u s e the responsibility for helping t h e m grow a n d learn is divided a m o n g home, school, a n d others. Administrators must m a k e c o u r a g e o u s decisions in order to avoid undermining staff.  In addition, "[sjometimes this meant quelling or  facing squarely resistance a n d hostility f r o m other m e m b e r s of the administration or from faculty m e m b e r s " w h o o p p o s e d s o m e work done in the school (Arends, 1982, p. 85). This form of support might also mean cutting through "red tape" for school professionals, or hiring the best qualified people to 19  p r o m o t e the school's goals despite c o m p e t i n g interests. 4. Giving something of value to workers. Specific, valued gestures of support m a y involve time, money, status, space, recognition, professional growth opportunities, or personal affection. T w o e x a m p l e s would be a principal's attending a n in-service w o r k s h o p along with his or her counsellors, and providing s o m e extra m o n e y so counsellors could plan a retreat a i m e d at developing collegiality a n d cohesiveness. This style of support m a y be especially relevant for counsellors, w h o often find t h e m s e l v e s working in isolation because, for example, there is only o n e counsellor in the school, or the personal problems being dealt with are so o v e r w h e l m i n g a s to m a k e him or her withdraw from others. 5. Clearing his or her schedule to deal with w o r k e r s ' projects a n d concerns. Arends says that this, for many school workers, is the essence of perceived administrative support. C o m m e n t s about principals such as "he left our meeting early" and "she w a s unwilling to c o m e to staff d e v e l o p m e n t events" indicate lack of support. O n the other hand, principals w h o supervise activities personally rather than delegate t h e m to s o m e o n e else are likely to be s e e n a s supportive. Generosity of time and attention provides staff m e m b e r s with a g o o d e x a m p l e of help-giving behaviour. S u c h gestures of support "not only satisfy socio-emotional needs of faculty a n d staff, but also e n h a n c e the status a n d influence of the recipient in the e y e s of other organizational m e m b e r s " (Arends, 1982, p. 87). According to Arends, understanding perceived administrative support is important in two w a y s . First, administrators themselves c a n benefit f r o m it. Learning w h a t teachers, counsellors and others see as supportive is a first step in developing 20  w a y s of interacting more effectively with faculty. This is particularly helpful for beginning administrators, w h o might not otherwise attend carefully to seemingly minor matters such as room allocation a n d "pats o n t h e back".  Additionally,  principals c a n use their knowledge of administrative support to withhold supportive gestures f r o m programs or f r o m staff actions that principals s e e as detrimental to the school. S e c o n d , a n e n h a n c e d k n o w l e d g e of administrative support c a n be applied to t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of training p r o g r a m s for administrators.  Arends  notes that such programs have traditionally f o c u s e d either o n administrators a s educational leaders (performing s u c h t a s k s a s inservice training, instructional consultation, a n d curriculum development) or o n their role as simple m a n a g e r s or functionaries working out the details of daily life in schools. A r e n d s believes that both roles are important a n d that a greater knowledge of supportive behaviour c a n e n h a n c e administrators' p e r f o r m a n c e in both of t h e m .  Article Review  No major article focusing o n burnout a m o n g high school counsellors w a s f o u n d in the research literature, but there are m a n y reports e a c h dealing with two or more of the variables explored in the present study. T h e s e articles, which deal with burnout or related p h e n o m e n a a m o n g teachers, college counsellors, psychologists, social workers, a n d counsellors in other settings, suggest aspects of the problem worth investigating. Although the research of Blase (1982) f o c u s e d o n burnout a m o n g teachers, not counsellors, it highlighted a path toward burnout that m a y also be taken b y counsellors. M a n y stressful elements are c o m m o n to the work of 21  counsellors and teachers: for example, student indifference, disciplinary problems, unsupportive or critical parents, financial pressures on education, overcrowding, unproductive paperwork, a n d inadequate administrative support. Blase developed a social-psychological g r o u n d e d theory of teacher stress and burnout. He f o u n d that a lack of social, administrative and other support in dealing with job-related stressors m a y initially incite teachers to "go it alone" and attempt to make up for the deficits b y increasing their involvement with students.  However, in the continuing absence of valued a n d satisfying  outcomes, teachers m a y disengage s o m e w h a t from their students. A s teachers "give less" to their work, the likelihood of future ineffective and unsatisfying encounters with students increases. Thus, despite w h a t the teacher m a y see a s a protective lowering of involvement, a degenerative cycle leads to burnout (Blase, 1982, p. 109). Blase's theory is b a s e d o n extensive qualitative research and s e e m s well developed, but he does not report the data in a w a y that allows the reader to see how the theory derived from it. Nagy and Davis (1985) studied teachers in an unidentified urban c o m m u n i t y in the northwest U.S. T h e y f o u n d strong environmental influences on burnout, such as the specific grade or subject taught. There w a s no evidence of a relationship between years of experience a n d burnout. T y p e A personality and high work-orientation predicted burnout. T h e authors e m p h a s i z e the importance of the person-environment fit, but are unable to draw strong conclusions about how a better fit can be developed. T h e y considered s o m e school climate factors but not administrative or social support; this omission is startling in view of the widely a c k n o w l e d g e d significance of these influences. Russell, Altmaier and V a n Velzen (1987) led a wide-scale study of 22  burnout a m o n g teachers in the state of Iowa using the Maslach Burnout Inventory and m e a s u r e s of social and administrative support. Support f r o m a supervisor, reassurance of worth, a n d reliable alliance (the sense that others can be counted on for help) were negatively related to burnout. "Teachers w h o indicated that other people respected their skills a n d abilities reported less emotional exhaustion, more positive attitudes t o w a r d students, and greater personal accomplishment" (p. 272). This suggests that acknowledging an employee's skills and offering assistance are important interventions for principals and others to make. Russell et al. say their results support the suggestion that intervention programs against burnout should be a i m e d at supervisors, w h o should be taught to reassure teachers of their worth. T h e researchers also f o u n d that friendship and family relationships also play a significant role in forestalling burnout, especially the depersonalization type.  As  to personal and job characteristics, male teachers reported higher levels of depersonalization than did f e m a l e s ; younger teachers reported greater emotional exhaustion than did older ones; married teachers reported greater feelings of personal accomplishment. Ross, Altmaier and Russell (1989) surveyed 169 doctoral-level counsellors w h o w e r e working at least half-time in U.S. university counselling centres. Ross et al. note that earlier research o n people in general had found a positive impact of social support o n health; however, they state that this connection called out for further investigation in the case of counsellors, particularly in view of conflicting evidence about the buffering hypothesis, i.e. the idea that the Stress X Social Support interaction predicts physical and mental health. Ross et al. gathered data on personal and job-setting characteristics, burnout, stressful job-related incidents, and social support (with 23  supervisory support being a subcategory of this last variable). T h e researchers produced, by multiple regression procedures, three sets of statistical analyses: (a) descriptive information on job-related stress and burnout; (b) prediction of job-related stress and burnout by personal a n d job-setting characteristics;  and  (c) prediction of job-related stress and burnout by social support (with supervisory support as a subcategory). A m o n g the more significant findings are the following: 1. Counsellors s h o w e d moderate levels of burnout on two scales of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (depersonalization and personal accomplishment) and low levels of burnout on the third scale, emotional exhaustion; 2. counsellors w h o had fewer years of post-doctoral experience reported a greater number of stressful events and higher emotional exhaustion; 3. supervisory support w a s significantly related to burnout on all three Maslach scales; 4. the predicted relationship of social support to burnout w a s absent; 5. supervising another counsellor w a s positively related to emotional e x h a u s t i o n ; 6. married counsellors reported greater emotional exhaustion than unmarried ones. O n the last two points, Ross et al. speculate that playing multiple roles m a y be related to greater burnout. As to supervisory support, they note that the strong relationship f o u n d b e t w e e n it and the three classes of burnout is in accordance with m a n y other studies. Overall, the results suggest the usefulness of the three categories of burnout provided b y the Maslach Burnout Inventory. T h e researchers did not study counsellors w h o have a lower level of education than the doctorate, and they state that studying less-educated and/or lessexperienced counsellors might provide very different results. In its thoroughness, well-formed methodological structure, and careful analysis, this study is indispensable to the literature on burnout in the helping professions. A study of counsellors at junior colleges in New South Wales, Australia,  24  f o u n d that longer e m p l o y m e n t in the colleges predicted a higher degree of burnout; this finding w a s "consistent with the proposition that burnout results from an accumulation of stress associated with interpersonal professional c o n t a c t . . . rather than that it occurs early in this kind of employment and then declines over time" (Jupp & Shaul, 1 9 9 1 , p. 163). Female counsellors reported s o m e w h a t more support than did males f r o m family and friends and from the bureaucracy, but w o m e n and m e n registered similar burnout levels.  The  researchers suggest that m e n got their support needs met in other w a y s , but these are not specified. Although the authors state that job security m a y be a crucial element in the study of counsellor burnout, they did not measure this variable or its influence. In her study of psychologists in Ontario, Kahili (1986) f o u n d a strong relationship b e t w e e n low degrees of perceived social support and burnout, but made tentative conclusions only: "It m a y be that the harmful effects of stress are reduced by the presence of a supportive social network.  It is also possible that  individuals w h o are burned out perceive the world m o r e negatively and thus do not see or seek out available social support or perhaps they drive a w a y supporters because they are negative or m a k e excessive d e m a n d s for support" (p. 1048). A study of social workers in a c o m m u n i t y mental health clinic in the U.S. (Beemsterboer & B a u m , 1984) f o u n d that a group of highly experienced w o r k e r s appeared i m m u n e to any of the effects of burnout although there w a s a high turnover rate of employees. This suggests experience as an important factor. However, the research is reported without e n o u g h evidence of scientific rigour to permit firm conclusions. O n e is left to speculate whether experience, age, or another factor might be the most relevant one. 25  Investigating social support a n d burnout a m o n g counsellors at a residential centre for emotionally disturbed children a n d adolescents, Kruger, Botman a n d G o o d e n o w (1991) f o u n d that high levels of co-worker support (team cohesion and perceived quality of friendships) were positively related to higher personal accomplishment scores (an indication of low burnout) on the Maslach Burnout Inventory. more experience.  Emotional exhaustion d e c r e a s e d as staff gained  However, w o m e n counsellors experienced higher levels of  emotional exhaustion than did the men. No significant relationship w a s f o u n d between supervisor support and burnout; the authors suggest this is b e c a u s e the supervisors w e r e all hired f r o m that type of environment and thus could be e x p e c t e d to be especially knowledgeable a n d supportive (Kruger et al., 1 9 9 1 , p. 347). O n e influential study of coping strategies (Shinn, Rosario, Morch, & Chestnut, 1984) e x a m i n e d the relationship of burnout in group workers to such elements as focusing on family and friends, building one's c o m p e t e n c e , taking more breaks from work, and improving c o m m u n i c a t i o n within the agency.  A  multiple regression analysis s h o w e d that individual and agency-level coping m e c h a n i s m s w e r e not related to burnout. However, social support activities w e r e closely related to burnout; a plethora of other studies confirmed this latter conclusion. S o w a , M a y a n d Niles (1994) s u r v e y e d counsellors working in various settings in the state of Virginia. T h e y discovered that counsellors reporting high occupational stress had lower levels of recreation, self-care, and social support. T h e y r e c o m m e n d e d that counsellor education programs include stressm a n a g e m e n t c o u r s e s providing training in physical a n d psychological coping skills. However, S o w a et al. did not propose content for such courses, and they 26  did not offer support for their contention that such teaching would have the desired effects. In a n investigation of school counsellors in Maine, Sutton a n d Fall (1995) considered the influence of school climate on counsellors' self-efficacy — the belief that one has certain skills a n d knowledge, as well as the ability to take action and to s u c c e e d amid the stresses of life. T h e y f o u n d that supportive staff a n d administrators predicted both high efficacy expectancy a n d high o u t c o m e expectancy (i.e. the possibility of g o o d results) a m o n g counsellors. A s to administrators, "[Pjerhaps w h e n principals act as supportive resources for the e x c h a n g e of ideas a n d material resources, counselors gain a s e n s e of e m p o w e r m e n t and efficacy" a n d the school's counselling program is e n h a n c e d (Sutton et al., 1995, p. 335). In addition, the level of non-counselling-related activities performed by the counsellors predicted o u t c o m e expectancy; counsellors w h o p e r f o r m e d duties outside the area of their specialty a n d training had lower expectancy for the o u t c o m e of their counselling-related behaviour.  Sutton and Fall assert the importance of considering environmental  variables, such as size of school and education level of counsellors, in future research. Sutton a n d Fall did not consider burnout, but one m a y speculate whether lack of self-efficacy might lead to burnout or at least be related to it.  27  Chapter III Hypotheses and Methodology This chapter presents the study's hypotheses and methods, the latter including a description of the research design, population a n d sample, d a t a gathering procedures, instruments, and data analysis, organization and interpretation.  Hypotheses  T h e major goal of this study w a s to identify relationships between several variables and burnout.  Because little or no research on high school counsellor  burnout had previously b e e n undertaken, a great variety of relationships a m o n g variables targeted w e r e considered in the analysis.  However, the major  questions are simply stated: W h a t is the relationship of perceived social support to burnout a m o n g high school counsellors? W h a t is the relationship of perceived administrative support to burnout a m o n g these counsellors? O n theoretical grounds, an inverse relationship w a s e x p e c t e d a s an answer to both these questions; in other words, stronger perceived social a n d administrative support would be associated with lower burnout levels. T h e next step w a s to extract, from the literature, s o m e characteristics of the counsellors' personal life and job situation, a n d to see whether these variables a d d e d anything to the e x p e c t e d relationship b e t w e e n social and/or administrative support a n d burnout. S o m e variables w o r t h exploring w e r e raised in the article  28  review in the previous chapter.  Further ideas about variables worth  investigating are outlined here, along with a brief explanation of w h y the questions suggested themselves.  Each of the three variables discussed here  w a s f o u n d three times in the literature — in each case, either confirmed a s an important element of burnout studies or mentioned as a variable that called out for further investigation. In a study of teacher burnout, S c h w a b and Iwanicki (1982) f o u n d that role conflict a n d role ambiguity explained a statistically significant a m o u n t of variance in two aspects of burnout m e a s u r e d by the Maslach Burnout Inventory, namely depersonalization and emotional exhaustion. T h e y f o u n d that teachers w h o s e role in the school w a s ambiguous or mixed (for example, a mixed teacher/counsellor or teacher/administrator role) w e r e more subject to burnout. Sutton and Fall (1995) found that school counsellors w h o performed roles outside their specialty and training as counsellors had lower o u t c o m e expectancy for their counselling-related behaviour. Therefore, the present study a s k e d counsellors for information about their role in the school. T h e question: Does the percentage of work time spent on counselling predict burnout? T h e r e is evidence of gender-related differences in both the need for social support and the forms of social support that are most helpful.  Greenglass  (1993) raised a n u m b e r of pertinent gender-difference issues, including whether families alleviate work-related strain for working w o m e n as m u c h as they do for working m e n . T h e question: Does gender predict burnout? Studies including that of J u p p and Shaul (1991), cited in the article review in Chapter II, point to the significance of length of time e m p l o y e d a s a counsellor.  T h e question:  Does counselling experience predict burnout?  In addition to these three variables, three further predictors w e r e c h o s e n 29  as exploratory variables. Although not well established in the literature, they all appear there as potentially fruitful areas of inquiry. T h e y are the counsellors' age, the level of education they have obtained, a n d the size of their schools. T h e question: Are age, education level a n d school size related to burnout? This study also considered s o m e ancillary issues —  relationships  between non-burnout variables. As this study covers new ground, it w a s considered worthwhile to e x a m i n e relationships b e t w e e n certain pairs of independent variables. T h e s e selected relationships w e r e c h o s e n before the data w a s entered; they w e r e identified partly by mentions in the literature, and partly b y the researcher a n d his supervisors, as being of potential interest. For example, o n e issue is whether male a n d female counsellors feel different degrees of administrative support.  H e a n e y (1993) studied how  perceived control at work affects men's a n d w o m e n ' s psychological health.  Her  results w e r e a m b i g u o u s but s u g g e s t e d there m a y be a significant gender difference in how counsellors perceive administrative support.  A n additional  factor is that the vast majority of high school principals are m e n , and therefore the support they offer m a y be more easily s e e n or a c c e p t e d by one gender than the other. T h e question: Do male a n d f e m a l e counsellors perceive different levels of administrative support? Also c h o s e n for analysis w e r e : — T h e relationships of administrative support with social support, with school size and with percentage of time counselling. — T h e relationships of social support with gender a n d with age. — T h e relationship b e t w e e n school size and percentage of time counselling.  30  Methodology  Design This is a cross-sectional, non-experimental, descriptive field study. Based as it is on correlational analysis, it does not permit conclusions to be d r a w n about causation. However, it allows us to e x a m i n e associations f o u n d a m o n g variables and to consider the meaning of these relationships. T h e objective w a s to develop a picture of elements related to burnout in high school counsellors in British Columbia. T o this e n d , a diversified s a m p l e of such counsellors w a s surveyed for information on their perceived social and administrative support, gender, age, counselling experience, education, school size, percentage of work time designated for counselling, and degree of burnout.  Data Collection and Procedures Population and Sample: T h e precise n u m b e r of high school counsellors in British Columbia at a n y given time is u n k n o w n . T h e n u m b e r varies from school year to school year and is estimated to be several hundred. T h e British C o l u m b i a School Counsellors Association, the professional association representing both elementary a n d high school counsellors, has a m e m b e r s h i p ranging roughly from 400 to 750, depending on the season, on m e m b e r s h i p renewal dates, and on w h e n counsellors renew their m e m b e r s h i p s (often they do so at the time of conferences). T h e majority of m e m b e r s counsel in high schools. S o m e school counsellors are not m e m b e r s of the association, while s o m e individuals w h o are m e m b e r s m a y not be counselling in a n y given 31  school year. T h e sample of 2 6 5 potential participants w a s drawn from the m e m b e r s h i p rolls of the British C o l u m b i a School Counsellors Association.  All  current m e m b e r s listed as working in high schools (about 200 counsellors) w e r e selected. T h e remaining 65 or s o participants w e r e high school counsellors w h o w e r e still on the m e m b e r s h i p lists although they had not r e n e w e d their m e m b e r s h i p w h e n it expired during the preceding five m o n t h s (since S e p t e m b e r 1997); these participants w e r e d e e m e d likely to be counselling still. A large initial s a m p l e w a s selected to ensure adequate returns and to improve the likelihood of obtaining a representative sample.  Procedures: This study's p r o p o s e d p r o c e d u r e s w e r e a p p r o v e d by the Behavioural Research Ethics Board of the University of British C o l u m b i a . T h e 2 6 5 potential participants w e r e sent a mailing including the following: a covering letter explaining in general t e r m s the purpose of the study a n d including information about anonymity a n d confidentiality, a four-part questionnaire, and a s t a m p e d return envelope addressed to the researcher in his department.  His phone n u m b e r and e-mail address w e r e provided in case  participants had questions.  T h e questionnaires w e r e given no identifying  number or mark; it w a s believed that complete anonymity w o u l d e n c o u r a g e s o m e counsellors to respond to the survey w h o might not if there w a s an identifier.  No reminder w a s sent, and there w a s no other follow-up with  participants. Counsellors w h o w e r e sent the survey but did not wish to complete it w e r e invited, in the covering letter, to hand the questionnaire to a colleague or acquaintance w h o w a s counselling in a B.C. high school, regardless of w h e t h e r 32  that person w a s a m e m b e r of the B.C. School Counsellors Association. In light of the assurance of confidentiality a n d anonymity, a n d b e c a u s e the questionnaire w a s relatively brief and w o r d e d straightforwardly, a n a d e q u a t e response rate w a s anticipated by the researcher.  Measures: T h e survey instrument, w h i c h is titled High School Counsellor Questionnaire, is included a s Appendix C. T h e questionnaire w a s designed s o a s to take roughly 2 0 minutes to complete. It consists of four parts:  I. Counsellor a n d J o b Characteristics: Participants are a s k e d for the following information: a. A g e b. G e n d e r c. Years of experience as a part-time and/or full-time counsellor d. Highest degree they have obtained (in any field of study) e. T h e student population of their school f. W h e t h e r they counsel only, or have other duties such as administration or teaching; if they have duties other than counselling, they indicate the percentage of their time that is designated for counselling  II. Social Support Appraisals Scale: This measure of perceived social support (Vaux, Phillips, Holly, T h o m s o n , Williams, & Stewart, 1986) e n c o m p a s s e s the major c o m p o n e n t s of models of perceived social support developed by C o b b (1976) and others.  It is  designed to g a u g e the extent to which a person believes he or she is loved by, e s t e e m e d by, a n d involved with family, friends and others. 33  Participants respond to 23 support-related items on a four-point scale indicating how strongly they agree or disagree with e a c h statement.  Five items are  reverse-scored. Scoring is accomplished by adding up the scores for a total score, with higher scores indicating a stronger subjective appraisal of social support. Eight items relate to support from family, s e v e n items relate to support from friends, and the remaining eight items relate to support from others or f r o m people in general. T h e r e is considerable evidence of the reliability of the Social Support Appraisals Scale. T h e instrument w a s tested with 10 samples totalling almost 1,000 respondents f r o m a variety of populations.  Internal consistency  (coefficient alpha) reported for the scale ranged from .80 to .90 (Vaux et al., 1986, p. 206). No data on stability w e r e reported. T h e Social Support Appraisals Scale w a s subjected to intensive evaluation of its validity. It s h o w e d very good concurrent, predictive, k n o w n groups, a n d construct validity. Its scores have b e e n reported as being significantly correlated, in predicted ways, to other m e a s u r e s of social support a n d of psychological well-being. S u c h  m e a s u r e s included social network  satisfaction, family environment, depression, positive affect, negative affect, life satisfaction, loneliness, happiness, a n d the S y m p t o m C h e c k List 9 0 (SCL-90). T h e s e correlations "are as strong or stronger than those reported for other support appraisal measures" (Vaux et al., 1986, p. 216). T h e simplicity and brevity of the scale added to its appeal for use in the present study. Furthermore, respondents "appear interested a n d motivated, a n d missing data are rare" (Vaux et al., 1986, p. 216).  34  III. Administrative Support Measure: In the a b s e n c e of a n y published or unpublished instrument measuring perceived administrative support, a 10-item questionnaire w a s devised for the purposes of the present research. This new measure is intended to be consonant with the notion of administrative  support  as conceptualized by  Arends (1982), and is based on the five factors isolated by him. There are t w o questions per factor.  Participants reply o n a five-point scale indicating their  perception of how often their principal b e h a v e s in certain w a y s . Scores o n the 10 items are a d d e d up to m a k e a total score, with higher scores indicating a higher subjective appraisal of administrative support. Although no reliability or validity data are available, the Administrative Support Measure w a s piloted with high school counsellors w h o c o m m e n t e d on the clarity and c o m p r e h e n s i v e n e s s of the statements a n d on how the instrument might be m a d e easier to complete. T h e m e a s u r e w a s revised in accordance with their remarks, with a c a d e m i c advice, a n d with its original orientation t o Arends's work.  Scores during the final stage of piloting corresponded strongly  and positively with the respondents' answer to an extra item administered separately as a check: "I a m satisfied with the support I get from m y principal." However, no correlation w a s calculated. If this m e a s u r e w e r e to be used again, internal consistency could be d e t e r m i n e d using C r o n b a c h ' s coefficient alpha.  IV. Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI): This study e m p l o y e d the S e c o n d Edition (1986) of the H u m a n Services Survey f o r m of the M B I . This form is identical to the other one published, the Educators Survey, with one exception: T h e h u m a n services form uses the term recipient to refer to clients, w h e r e a s the educators form uses the term  student. 35  Despite the c u m b e r s o m e nature of the w o r d recipient, the h u m a n services f o r m s e e m s preferable b e c a u s e m a n y counsellors perceive y o u n g people at school primarily as clients, t h o u g h they are obviously students too. T h e inventory consists of 22 items to which participants respond o n a 0-6 scale indicating the frequency of their experiencing job-related feelings.  There  is no total score, but scores are obtained for the inventory's three scales, which are designed to measure three d o m a i n s of response to stresses:  emotional  exhaustion (9 items), feelings of being emotionally drained; depersonalization (5 items), negative or impersonal attitudes to clients; and personal accomplishment (8 items), feelings of ability a n d a c h i e v e m e n t in working with people. Higher scores o n the first two scales, a n d lower scores on the third scale, reflect greater levels of burnout. T h e MBI is the dominant instrument in its field, a n d c o m m e n d e d itself to use in this study for several reasons. First, the MBI operationalizes burnout  as defined b y Maslach. S h e  designed the MBI on the basis of her o w n pioneering conceptualization a n d definition of burnout. A s her concept of burnout is the o n e e m p l o y e d in this study, the instrument is ideally suited to measure the construct. S e c o n d , the MBI's format is simple, its explanations a n d items are clear, and it takes only about 10 minutes to complete, including time to read instructions (Maslach and J a c k s o n , 1986). T h e MBI w a s designed specifically to m e a s u r e h u m a n service workers, a n d it is w o r d e d to reflect their vocabulary. T h e s e qualities m a k e the instrument well suited for individual completion by counsellors. Third, the division of scores into three scales permits a more detailed analysis of the specific aspects of burnout that m a y be in play. Analysis might 36  show, for example, that counselling experience is related strongly to emotional exhaustion, w e a k l y to depersonalization a n d not at all to personal accomplishment.  S u c h results m a y be suggestive to later researchers or to  persons devising interventions to c o m b a t burnout. Fourth, the MBI has been used so frequently in burnout research that it f o r m s a touchstone in the field. T h e inventory's wide acceptability allows us to m a k e useful comparisons a m o n g research studies, including this one, without c o n c e r n about variations across instruments. T h e MBI has been s h o w n to be a reliable and valid measure of burnout. T h e MBI's reliability, especially for research purposes, has b e e n well established (Sandoval, 1989). Reliability coefficients for the subscales ranged from .71 to .90 (N = 1,316) in development trials. In smaller studies, test-retest reliability coefficients ranged from .60 to .82 after two to four w e e k s and from .54 to .60 after two years (Hargrove, 1989, p. 474). T h e emotional exhaustion scale tends to s h o w higher reliability than the other two subscales. In one set of development studies, the alpha coefficient for emotional exhaustion w a s .90, and the stability co-efficient over a two-to-four-week period w a s .82. T h e alpha coefficient of the depersonalization scale w a s .79, and the stability w a s .60. In the personal accomplishment scale, the alpha w a s .71 a n d stability w a s .80 (Sandoval, 1989, p. 475). Personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t correlates w e a k l y with depersonalization (.26), a n d w e a k l y with emotional exhaustion (.22).  Depersonalization a n d  emotional exhaustion are moderately intercorrelated (.52) (Maslach & J a c k s o n , 1981). Considerable evidence endorses the validity of MBI scores. In studies of convergent validity, "the MBI scores have been correlated with behavior ratings 37  m a d e by knowledgeable informants, with j o b characteristics that are e x p e c t e d to contribute to burnout, a n d with other m e a s u r e s of o u t c o m e related to burnout" (Sandoval, 1989, p. 475). T h e MBI's discriminant validity is supported by evidence that m e a s u r e s of j o b satisfaction yield results markedly different from the M B I ; in other words, burnout a n d job dissatisfaction are not the s a m e thing. T h e y are related but are distinct e n o u g h t o be seen a s separate constructs. Additionally, the M B I has b e e n s h o w n not t o be influenced by social desirability considerations a n d not to measure clinical depression. T h e inventory h a s b e e n s h o w n to be flexible a n d to be applicable over a broad geographical a n d occupational range. "The MBI is certainly the instrument of choice t o use in research a n d evaluation e n d e a v o r s studying the p h e n o m e n o n of burnout" (Sandoval, 1989, p. 4 7 6 ) .  Data Analysis, Organization and Interpretation: T h e questionnaires w e r e scored by t h e researcher. S c o r e s w e r e entered first into a data entry sheet, t h e n into the computer statistical program S P S S 7.5 for Windows. T h e data w a s analyzed to produce results, including figures a n d tables, describing t h e data a n d s h o w i n g relationships b e t w e e n t h e predictor or independent variables (perceived social support, perceived administrative support, a n d the six counsellor a n d j o b characteristics), a n d t h e criterion or d e p e n d e n t variables (the three burnout scales). First, t o get a n overview of t h e data, frequency distributions of all variables w e r e e x a m i n e d .  Means, standard deviations, a n d ranges w e r e f o u n d .  Correlations a m o n g all variables w e r e calculated, with significance at t h e .05 a n d .01 levels flagged. 38  T h e n a series of six bar charts w a s produced to illustrate the distribution of the six counsellor and job characteristics of the participants. Next, t -tests w e r e e m p l o y e d to c o m p a r e m e a n s of participants' scores on the three MBI scales with the most recent normative data provided by the publishers of the MBI for mental health workers. Significance at the .05, .01 a n d .001 levels w a s noted. Stepwise multiple regression procedures w e r e p e r f o r m e d with e a c h of the three burnout scores as the dependent variable. In each of the three analyses, the five theory-grounded independent variables — social support, administrative support, gender, experience, a n d percentage of time counselling — w e r e entered in the order of the strength of their correlation with the dependent variable, from highest to lowest.  Independent variables that a d d e d  nothing to R2 w e r e removed. Next, the effects of the three exploratory variables — age, education, a n d school size — on burnout w e r e examined. T h e correlation of age with e a c h of the three classes of burnout w a s considered. T h e influence of education on e a c h of the three burnout categories w a s e x a m i n e d by a o n e - w a y A N O V A , as w a s the impact of school size. Finally, a series of tests investigated the relationships a m o n g certain independent variables, as listed in the Hypotheses section earlier: Administrative support's relationship with social support w a s f o u n d by correlation, a s w a s administrative support's relationship with percentage of time counselling. G e n d e r differences in administrative support w e r e explored by a ttest. Differences in administrative support in schools of varying sizes w e r e e x a m i n e d by o n e - w a y A N O V A . Gender differences in social support w e r e explored by a t -test, and 39  social support's relationship with a g e w a s f o u n d by correlation. Differences in percentage of time counselling, having regard to school size, w e r e investigated by one-way A N O V A .  40  Chapter IV Results This chapter comprises: a profile of the participants, including graphs of their personal a n d j o b characteristics; a n overview of the data, with all variables' means, standard deviations, a n d correlations; a c o m p a r i s o n of participants' burnout levels with norms; a n d results of the statistical tests performed o n the data to e x a m i n e the relationships a m o n g variables.  Participants  Of the 2 6 5 surveys mailed out to high school counsellors, 163 w e r e a n s w e r e d a n d returned, for a return rate of 6 1 . 5 1 % .  Six questionnaires could  not be used, leaving an N of 157. T h e s e 157 surveys were complete except that seven lacked information o n years of counselling experience, a n d three lacked an answer on the percentage of time designated for counselling. Details of returns a n d the scoring of questionnaires are in Appendix A. T h e job a n d counsellor characteristics of the participants are displayed in Figures 1-6; percentages, rather than numbers, of counsellors in the sample are used. Since no study of burnout a m o n g high school counsellors w a s f o u n d in the literature, this sample cannot be c o m p a r e d with a n y other. A s Figure 1 indicates, the vast majority of counsellors w e r e aged in their 40s or early 50s. T h e m e a n a g e w a s 4 6 . 3 1 ; the standard deviation w a s 7.05 years. T h e youngest counsellor w a s 26, the oldest 60, for a range of 3 4 years.  41  Figure 1  Participants by Age  40  30  20-^  10  c o o 1 0-  o  26-30  3K35  36^40  41-45  46-50  51-55  56-60  A g e Interval  Figure 2  Participants by Gender  female  male  Gender  42  Figure 2 s h o w s the b r e a k d o w n by gender. T h e s a m p l e of counsellors w a s 6 3 . 1 % female, 3 6 . 9 % male. This imbalance is in line with the proportion of w o m e n a n d m e n listed as high school counsellors on the British C o l u m b i a School Counsellors Association m e m b e r s h i p rolls, from w h i c h the s a m p l e w a s taken. T h e participants' years of experience as full-time or part-time counsellors are displayed in Figure 3. Experience varied from one year to 3 2 years, for a range of 31 years. T h e m e a n w a s 12.55 years, a n d the standard deviation w a s 7.50 years.  Figure 3  Missing  Participants bv Experience  1-8  17-24  25-32  Y e a r s of E x p e r i e n c e  T h e counsellors' highest degree obtained is s h o w n in Figure 4.  The  master's degree is the highest one attained by 6 6 . 9 % of the counsellors. 43  Figure 4 80 T  ——  70 605040 30 20  8  1 0  0  Q_  bachelor's  graduate diploma  master's  doctorate  Education  Figure 5  Participants by School Size  40-  30  20  |||™Bil I I  10  c 0 o CD  jlll^^H ^^gH||[l ^^^^^^^^ ••lln  Q.  less than 500  1000-1499 500-999  2000 or more 1500-1999  School Size  44  A s Figure 5 illustrates, the great majority of high school counsellors w h o w e r e s u r v e y e d work in medium-sized schools w h o s e student population is b e t w e e n 500 a n d 1499. Figure 6 displays the percentage of counsellors' w o r k time that w a s designated for counselling rather than for other duties such as teaching or administration.  Half the participants (50.3%) were full-time counsellors, while  another 2 2 . 1 % w e r e counselling close to full-time ( 7 3 - 9 0 % of their work time w a s designated for counselling). T h e m e a n w a s 8 0 . 6 6 % , a n d the standard deviation w a s 2 5 . 4 9 % . T h e lowest percentage designated for counselling w a s 5%, the highest 1 0 0 % , for a range of 9 5 % .  Figure 6  Participants bv Percentage of Time Counselling  60  50  40  30  Missing  5-21%  22-38%  39-55% 56-72% 73-90%  100%  % of Time Counselling  45  Overview of the Data Only the relationships mentioned in the Hypotheses section a b o v e w e r e c h o s e n for analysis in this study. Other relationships, f o u n d incidentally, w e r e not analyzed, in light of the danger that s u c h relationships might simply result from peculiarities of the sample. However, as this study appears to be the first into burnout a m o n g high school counsellors, the researcher felt it important to offer a glimpse of all relationships, for the potential benefit of later investigators. Therefore, a full correlational matrix, including m e a n s a n d standard deviations, is presented as Table 1.  Levels of Burnout  Scores o n the three burnout scales w e r e c o m p a r e d with normative data in t w o w a y s : by degree of burnout, a n d by c o m p a r i n g the m e a n s of the current and normative samples. A s to degree of burnout, the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) divides scores o n each subscale into three categories: T h e lowest one-third of the normative sample w a s assigned to the low category, the next one-third to the moderate  category, a n d t h e uppermost third to the high category. For  emotional exhaustion, the current s a m p l e of high school counsellors fell in the moderate range, but at the top e n d of that range. For depersonalization, the present sample fell in the low range, but at the high e n d of that range.  Finally,  for personal accomplishment, the counsellors scored in the middle of the low range. T h e s e c o n d method of interpretation is by comparing means.  Means, 46  * z CO o C Q ' CD 3 ' o ^  1  co TJ >  m rn  a TJ  •a 3 T3 O  Q> II  S3 <*> m b CD"  ||  m r—t-  ro o' CD  a.  m X  Q) C  }§-.  co§ CQ '  —^  i O CJl  o co  b  O CO  cn  O o c  CO o =r o o CO  13  CO CD  CO  m a. c: o 0)  ro  m  Q  T3  CD  X  CD CD  < > CQ CD  Q. CD  — " I  0)' CT CD  CT CD  CD  CD  CO  CO  CO  ro cn  ro  cn 45v  ->•  2  CD &> 3 0)  4^  *  I  o CO  ro  o  4^  o  4^  o  b co  o  o  o  o ro  cn  ro  o ro  o ro  co  ro ro  o o  o co co  o co  o co  o cn  co  o cn  ro ro  CO  4*.  *  co ro  CO  ST a D  CD <  fi)'  13  Eft O O TJ «  II  -* a 0J CD ~ -a = f CD CD CO O O 13  ro ro *  ro CO  m N' < S ® 5' -~s Z5 ro • r-ih 0)  cfT •S  > TJ CD CO O DJ.  > O O  o 3 "o co  o -j  o co  o  CO  3 (0  o  ro  "  a  |co  O o 3  CD  .1 o  *  ro  5"  cn  fi) 3  ro cn  TJ  II  fi)  O  N"  5'  < CD  m  Ol  =•  CO CO c o -a Q. o —  co  & > •-ti  CO  o" 3 (0  I  b  CO  fi)  3 o  CO  3  Q I ro 4^  cn  CO  < fi)  2.  fi)'  co  cr  4^  CD (0  3 CD 3 CD  CO CO  —L  CD CD  CO  4^  CO  CO CO  CO  CO  CO  CD CO  ro  b  -si  CO CO  4^  CO  o  CO CD  ro  CO  ro  ro cn 4S-  L ro cn cn  cn  cn o  ro cn CO CO  4^  CD  CD CO  —1  co  4*.  CO  co  -si  b cn  CO O  standard deviations a n d results of t -tests comparing the current sample with the MBI norms are presented in Table 2.  Table 2 Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) Means and Standard Deviations Present S a m p l e High S c h o o l Counsellors M SD 157) (N =  MBI Normative Mental Health Sample SD M (N = 730)  19.96  8.96  16.89  Depersonalization  4.17  3.67  Personal Accomplishment *  42.43  4.66  Emotional Exhaustion  t  P  8.90  4.26  <001  5.72  4.62  -5.34  <001  30.87  6.37  31.24  <001  * High scores reflect less burnout  As m e a s u r e d b y comparing means, t h e present sample had markedly different levels of burnout from the MBI norm for mental health professionals. T h e counsellors reported significantly higher (f =4.26; p < 0 0 1 ) levels of emotional exhaustion than did the normative sample.  However, o n the other  two subscales, the counsellors reported lower burnout. T h e y scored significantly lower (f = - 5 . 3 4 ; p < . 0 0 1 ) o n depersonalization, a n d significantly higher (t =31.24; p < .001) o n personal accomplishment — the latter indicating low burnout, as it is interpreted in the opposite direction from the other t w o scales.  48  T h e normative sample included counsellors from school a n d other settings, psychologists, psychiatrists a n d psychotherapists. T h e suitability of these norms for t h e present study will be discussed in Chapter V.  Multivariate Tests  Regression  Five independent variables — social support, administrative support, gender, experience a n d percentage of work time designated for counselling — w e r e selected, a priori, for inclusion in t h e multiple regression analysis of each of t h e three classes of burnout. T h e s e variables w e r e chosen, following the review of the literature, because of indications that they were all factors of c o n s e q u e n c e to burnout. For each of t h e three classes of burnout, a stepwise multiple regression analysis w a s executed.  In each case, the five independent variables were  entered in the order of their correlation (from highest to lowest) with t h e burnout score. T h e n , variables that did not a d d to R2 were eliminated. T h e relevant correlations are listed in Table 3.  49  Table 3 Correlations between Burnout and Independent Variables Employed in the Multiple Regression Analysis Emotional Exhaustion  Depersonalization  Personal Accomplishment  Social S u p p o r t  -.10  -.25*  Administrative Support  -18*  -.07  Gender  -.08  .12  .08  .03  .10  -.04  -.06  .01  Experience % Counselling  * p<.05  .41** .26**  .26**  ** p < . 0 1  T a b l e s 4, 5 a n d 6 present the results of the multiple regression analyses of the three classes of burnout. T h e coefficient of determination (R2) indicates the a m o u n t of variance in the burnout class that can be predicted from one independent variable or from a combination of several. A s e a c h step is a d d e d , R2 rises to express the new a m o u n t of variance predictable from the combination. T h e R2 increment states the predictive improvement gained by adding each step to the equation. T h e F -ratio allows us to conclude whether the c h a n g e in each step is significant at p <.05, p < . 0 1 , or p < . 0 0 1 . W h e n the five relevant variables w e r e e m p l o y e d in the regression  50  analysis of emotional exhaustion (Table 4), percentage of time counselling w a s excluded because it added nothing to the predictive value.  Administrative  support predicted a significant ( p = . 0 1 ) amount, 4 . 3 % , of the variance in emotional exhaustion. T h e three remaining variables together predicted an additional 0 . 9 % of the variance. T h e equation accounted, then, for 5 . 2 % of the variance [ F ( 4 , 1 4 5 ) = 1.972; p = . 1 0 ] ; this equation did not achieve significance at p<.05.  TabTeT Stepwise Multiple Regression of Independent Variables on Emotional Exhaustion Emotional E x h a u s t i o n R2  Step  R2 increment  F  Q  1. Administrative Support  .043  .043  6.659  .01  2. Social Support  .046  .003  .486  .49  3. G e n d e r  .049  .003  .431  .51  4.  .052  .003  .392  .53  Experience  F(4,145) = 1.972;p=.10  T h e results of the regression analysis of depersonalization are s h o w n in Table 5. Administrative support w a s excluded because it did not a d d to the predictive value. Social support, entered first, predicted a significant ( p = . 0 1 ) proportion, 5.2%, of the variance in depersonalization. Gender, entered second, predicted a further 2 . 2 % of the variance. Together, the two other  51  variables predicted 1.2% of the variance. T h e equation reached significance at p <.05 [ F (4,142) = 3.344; p = 01 ].  Table 5 Stepwise Multiple Regression of Independent Variables on Depersonalization Depersonalization R2  Step  R2 increment  F  P  1. Social Support  .052  .052  7.983  .01  2. Gender  .074  .022  3.388  .07  3.  Experience  .084  .010  1.599  .21  4. % Counselling  .086  .002  .292  .59  F ( 4 , 142) = 3.344; p = 01  Table 6 displays the results of the regression analysis of personal accomplishment.  This time, all five independent variables contributed  something to predictive power. Social support alone predicted a significant (p < 0 0 1 ) 1 6 . 1 % of the variance in personal accomplishment.  Administrative  support contributed a further, significant (p =.04) 2.4%. Together, the five variables accounted for 2 1 . 3 % of the variance in personal accomplishment; the equation w a s significant [ F ( 5 , 1 4 1 ) =7.614; p < . 0 0 1 ] .  52  Table 6 Stepwise Multiple Regression of Independent Variables on Personal  Accomplishment Personal Accomplishment  R2  Step  R2 increment  F  a  1. Social Support  .161  .161  27.846  <.001  2. Administrative Support  .185  .024  4.178  .04  3. % Counselling  .195  .010  1.814  .18  4. Gender  .196  .001  .211  .65  5.  .213  .016  2.944  .09  Experience  F ( 5 , 1 4 1 ) = 7.614; p < . 0 0 1  Burnout and Exploratory Variables  T h e exploratory variables — age, education and school size —  were  included in the survey as a result of the researcher's curiosity, a c a d e m i c advice, and suggestions in the literature that such factors might be important.  These  three independent variables w e r e not included in the regression analysis.  They  w e r e e x a m i n e d separately to determine whether there w a s a relationship with each of the three classes of burnout. Age correlated very weakly with the burnout scores. T h e correlation of age with emotional exhaustion w a s - . 0 8 , with depersonalization w a s - . 0 1 , a n d  53  Table 7 Means, Standard Deviations, and F Values of Burnout Scores bv Level of Education  Variable  M  SD  F  Bachelor's  20.04  9.64  Graduate Diploma  22.18  9.65  Master's  19.29  8.63  Doctorate  26.00  Emotional Exhaustion:  *  0.92  .43  0.25  .86  1.25  .29  Depersonalization: Bachelor's  4.61  4.19  Graduate Diploma  4.43  3.80  Master's  4.01  3.56  Doctorate  3.00  *  Personal A c c o m p l i s h m e n t : Bachelor's  42.87  4.37  Graduate Diploma  41.00  5.79  Master's  42.68  4.36  Doctorate  46.00  *  * N = 1  54  Table 8 Means. Standard Deviations, and F Values of Burnout Scores by School Size Variable  M  SD  Less than 500  23.12  9.85  500-999  18.88  8.83  1000-1499  20.46  8.80  1500-1999  19.26  8.39  2 0 0 0 or more  18.33  11.33  Less than 500  4.06  3.21  500-999  4.59  3.95  1000-1499  4.24  3.54  1500-1999  2.42  2.97  2 0 0 0 or more  5.33  4.84  Less than 5 0 0  40.53  5.27  500-999  41.82  4.87  1000-1499  42.75  4.72  1500-1999  44.68  2.56  2 0 0 0 or more  43.17  2.64  F  Emotional Exhaustion:  0.85  Depersonalization:  Personal A c c o m p l i s h m e n t :  1.44  with personal accomplishment w a s .05. None of these correlations w a s significant at p < . 0 5 . Differences in burnout scores by education level w e r e e x a m i n e d by o n e w a y A N O V A ; the results are presented as Table 7. Varying education levels accounted for no significant differences in emotional exhaustion ( F = 0 . 9 2 ; p =.43), depersonalization ( F = 0 . 2 5 ; p =.86) and personal accomplishment ( F =1.25; p = 2 9 ) . Similarly, an examination by o n e - w a y A N O V A w a s m a d e of differences in burnout scores by school size (Table 8). School size did not account for significant differences in emotional exhaustion ( F = 0 . 8 5 ; p =.49), in depersonalization ( F = 1 . 4 4 ; p = . 2 3 ) , or in personal accomplishment ( F = 2 . 2 3 ; p =.07). In the last case the differences a p p r o a c h e d significance at p < . 0 5 ; larger school size tended to be associated with greater feelings of personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t (an indication of lower burnout).  Relationships among Independent Variables  S e v e n pairs of independent variables w e r e selected, a priori, to be analyzed for possible relationships. Administrative support w a s correlated significantly ( r = . 3 1 ; p <.01) with social support a n d with percentage of time counselling (r=27; p <.01) (Table 1). A o n e - w a y A N O V A s h o w e d no significant differences in administrative support by size of school ( F = 0 . 9 3 ; p =.45) (Table 9). A t -test e x a m i n e d differences in administrative support by gender (Table 10). T h e r e w a s no significant difference (t = - 0 . 5 2 ; p =.60). Social support w a s correlated significantly ( r = . 1 6 ; p <.05) with a g e  56  Table 9 Means, Standard Deviations, and F Values of Administrative Support and Percentage Counselling by School Size  Variable  M  SD  Less than 500  38.41  9.35  500-999  38.11  7.28  1000-1499  39.63  8.61  1500-1999  36.79  8.08  2 0 0 0 or more  42.83  4.83  Less than 5 0 0  60.35  27.23  500-999  78.02  25.18  1000-1499  85.80  23.76  1500-1999  85.32  23.72  100.00  0.00  F  p_  0.93  .45  4.89  .001  Administrative Support:  itage Counselling:  2 0 0 0 or more  (Table 1); that is, older counsellors t e n d e d to report higher perceived social support than did younger counsellors. A t-test  s h o w e d no significant difference in social support by gender (t  = - 0 . 1 9 ; p = 85) (Table 10).  57  Table 10 Means/Standard Deviations, and t Values of Administrative Support and Social Support bv Gender  Variable  M  SD  Female  38.47  8.09  Male  39.17  8.08  Female  81.25  7.47  Male  81.50  8.46  t  Administrative Support:  -0.52  .60  Social S u p p o r t :  -0.19  .85  Percentage of time counselling w a s s h o w n by o n e - w a y A N O V A to differ significantly ( F = 4 . 8 9 ; p =.001) by school size (Table 9 ) ; that is, the larger the school, the higher the percentage of time counsellors tended to have designated for counselling rather than for other duties such as teaching or administration.  58  Chapter V Discussion This final chapter begins with a s u m m a r y of the findings in regard to the hypotheses, together with discussion of the results a n d their implications (significance is at the .05 level unless otherwise indicated). T h e n there are suggestions as to t h e scope, approaches a n d methods of future research o n the topic.  Summary and Implications  Social and Administrative Support A major hypothesis of this study w a s that there would be a n inverse relationship b e t w e e n each of the three classes of burnout a n d each of t w o other factors: perceived social support a n d perceived administrative support. All correlations between social support a n d burnout w e r e in the e x p e c t e d direction. T h o s e b e t w e e n social support a n d depersonalization ( r = - . 2 5 ) , a n d b e t w e e n social support a n d personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t ( r = . 4 1 ) , reached significance.  T h e correlation b e t w e e n social support and emotional exhaustion  ( r = - . 1 0 ) w a s not significant.  T h e s e results generally coincide with those of  several other studies (e.g. S o w a , M a y & Niles, 1994; Shinn, Rosario, Morch & Chestnut, 1984; Blase, 1982) that s h o w e d negative relationships b e t w e e n social support a n d burnout and/or other f o r m s of occupational strain.  Flournoy  59  (1990) did not find a n y significant relationships b e t w e e n social support a n d the three burnout classes. She explained this by noting that her instrument m e a s u r e d the objective availability of family m e m b e r s and others, rather than the perception that there are people on w h o m one can rely — the latter factor seemingly the most important. T h e results of Ross, Altmaier a n d Russell (1989) w e r e mixed. T h e y did not find the overall inverse relationship they had hypothesized between social support a n d burnout.  However, using the six-  category Social Provisions Scale, they f o u n d that three categories w e r e significantly correlated in the e x p e c t e d direction with burnout classes.  Higher  levels of social integration (a sense of belonging to a group) w e r e related to lower emotional exhaustion a n d depersonalization.  Reassurance of worth  (acknowledgment of one's abilities by others) a n d guidance (advice or information) w e r e related positively to personal accomplishment.  T h e s e results  suggest that the specific type or f o r m of social support is a relevant factor. In the c a s e of administrative support a n d burnout, relationships f o u n d w e r e also in the expected direction. T h e correlations b e t w e e n administrative support and emotional exhaustion ( r = - . 1 8 ) , and b e t w e e n administrative support and personal accomplishment ( r = . 2 6 ) , attained significance.  The  correlation of administrative support a n d depersonalization ( r = - . 0 7 ) w a s not significant. T h e s e results reinforce those of other studies. Lack of perceived supervisory support w a s related to higher levels of all three burnout classes in the college counsellors studied by Ross, Altmaier and Russell (1989); the researchers concluded that supervisory support has a positive effect o n w o r k e r s ' physical a n d mental health. Similarly, Russell, Altmaier and V a n Velzen (1987), in their study of Iowa teachers, f o u n d that perceived administrative support w a s negatively related to the three burnout classes.  60  Sutton a n d Fall (1995), w h o studied the effects of school climate o n counsellors' feelings about themselves a n d their work, f o u n d that supportive administrators predicted high self-efficacy a m o n g counsellors a n d high expectations for g o o d results in their work. T h e present results, in general, confirm those of earlier studies associating perceived social a n d administrative support negatively with burnout. Although causation cannot be proven, it is clear that if interventions against burnout a m o n g counsellors are created, these support variables will n e e d to be a m o n g the factors targeted.  Other Relevant Variables T h r e e independent variables — gender, experience, a n d percentage of work time designated for counselling — w e r e suggested by the literature as factors potentially relevant to burnout. T h e direction of s u c h possible relationships did not e m e r g e clearly from the published research studies. Correlations of e a c h of the three variables with the three burnout classes w e r e examined. G e n d e r w a s not correlated significantly with any of the three burnout classes — emotional exhaustion ( r = - . 0 8 ) , depersonalization ( r = . 1 2 ) , or personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t ( r = . 0 8 ) . T h e s e nonsignificant findings coincide with those of three other studies of counsellor burnout in educational institutions. Flournoy (1990) f o u n d no gender differences in burnout a m o n g college psychotherapists in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. J u p p a n d Shaul (1991) f o u n d similar burnout levels in f e m a l e a n d male counsellors at Australian junior colleges. Ross, Altmaier a n d Russell (1989) discovered similar degrees of  61  burnout in female a n d male college counsellors in the U.S. T w o other studies e a c h s h o w e d gender differences in one burnout class. Russell, Altmaier a n d Van Velzen (1987), in their study of teacher burnout in Iowa, f o u n d that m e n reported higher depersonalization than did w o m e n ; the authors offered no explanation. Kruger, Botman a n d G o o d e n o w (1991) f o u n d that female counsellors of emotionally disturbed y o u n g people reported higher emotional exhaustion than did their male counterparts; the researchers attributed this in part to the counsellors' need to physically restrain their clients at times, a task the w o m e n apparently considered more taxing a n d troubling than did the m e n . Overall, gender does not appear to be an important factor in burnout.  A  question mentioned by G r e e n g l a s s (1993) is whether family relationships e a s e job-related strain for working w o m e n as m u c h a s for working men.  Gathering  data on familial connections a n d responsibilities w o u l d permit a more c o m p l e x analysis of the gender issue. No significant correlation w a s f o u n d b e t w e e n counselling experience and any of the three burnout classes. Experience w a s w e a k l y correlated with emotional exhaustion ( r = . 0 3 ) , depersonalization ( r = . 1 0 ) , a n d personal accomplishment ( r = - . 0 4 ) . Likewise, in their study of teacher burnout, Nagy and Davis (1985) f o u n d no relationship b e t w e e n experience a n d burnout.  However,  a study of counsellors in Australian colleges f o u n d that longer e m p l o y m e n t there w a s associated with higher burnout (Jupp and Shaul, 1991). T h e authors said this suggested that burnout results from an accumulation of stress rather than occurring early in e m p l o y m e n t and t h e n declining; however, J u p p a n d Shaul did not gather data on overall counselling experience, leaving o p e n the question whether switching to another job would alleviate burnout. T w o other studies have s h o w n evidence of the opposite tendency: that less-experienced  62  counsellors are generally more emotionally e x h a u s t e d than more-experienced ones. Kruger, B o t m a n and G o o d e n o w (1991) f o u n d that counsellors of emotionally disturbed y o u n g people reported d e c r e a s e d emotional exhaustion as they gained experience. Similarly, in their investigation of U.S. university counselling centres, Ross, Altmaier a n d Russell (1989) discovered that lessexperienced counsellors w e r e more prone to emotional exhaustion.  They  s u g g e s t e d that more-experienced counsellors might be less willing to admit to psychological strain than might less-experienced ones, but also that the latter lacked s o m e of the coping m e c h a n i s m s required to handle job-related stress.  It  is likely that, as stresses are accumulating over years of experience, counsellors gradually put m o r e e m p h a s i s on developing the support a n d the coping skills that will moderate the d a m a g e . If they are unsuccessful at this, they m a y leave counselling; there is a survivor bias in the data. A study of U.S. social workers f o u n d that a core group of highly experienced w o r k e r s s e e m e d i m m u n e to burnout although the turnover rate a m o n g their colleagues w a s high (Beemsterboer & B a u m , 1984). Percentage of work time counselling w a s not correlated significantly with emotional exhaustion ( r = - . 0 6 ) or with depersonalization ( r = . 0 1 ) .  However,  percentage counselling w a s correlated significantly with personal accomplishment ( r - 2 6 ) ; that is, the higher the proportion of work time spent counselling, the greater the counsellor's feelings of personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t w e r e likely to be. Apparently, feelings of job fulfilment are greater w h e n the counsellor can concentrate on playing one role. In the literature there is no direct reinforcement of this result, but studies raise related issues. Sutton and Fall (1995) f o u n d that school counsellors w h o w e r e assigned to duties outside their specialty area expected their counselling work to be less effective; the  63  authors did not study burnout, but it is reasonable to expect that lower o u t c o m e e x p e c t a n c y would be associated with reduced feelings of personal accomplishment.  Ross, Altmaier a n d Russell (1989) found that counsellors w h o  supervised a colleague in addition to doing their o w n counselling work w e r e more affected by emotional exhaustion than those w h o w e r e just counselling. T h e significant positive correlation f o u n d in the present study b e t w e e n personal accomplishment and percentage of time devoted to counselling suggests it would be helpful for educational administrators to minimize mixed-role assignments in schools: A s m u c h a s possible, that is, counsellors will counsel, teachers will teach, a n d administrators will administer.  Counsellors w o u l d be  torn less frequently between the conflicting d e m a n d s of being a teacher or administrator as well as a counsellor.  Because of limited resources a n d the  exigencies of scheduling, this ideal division of roles would be more easily a c c o m p l i s h e d in larger schools.  Regression Gender, experience a n d percentage counselling w e r e e m p l o y e d , along with social support and administrative support, in a multiple regression analysis of each of the three burnout classes. T h e relationships, or lack thereof, between these five independent variables and burnout w e r e discussed above.  In this  section there is a s u m m a r y of the regression analyses, along with brief c o m m e n t s on the results. Emotional exhaustion w a s correlated significantly with only o n e of the five variables, administrative support ( r = - . 1 8 ) . In the regression analysis of emotional exhaustion, administrative support predicted 4 . 3 % of the variance.  64  Social support, gender a n d experience together predicted only an additional 0 . 9 % of the variance, a n d percentage counselling w a s excluded as it added nothing to predictive value. T h e equation w a s not significant [F (4,145) = 1.972; p = . 1 0 ] . Clearly, factors more relevant to emotional exhaustion need to be identified and evaluated.  In their meta-analysis of research on burnout in social  work, Soderfeldt, Soderfeldt and W a r g (1995) f o u n d that emotional exhaustion had been s h o w n in various studies to be associated with b o r e d o m , low job satisfaction, intent to change jobs, a n d role conflict. None of these factors w a s considered directly in the current research; however, role conflict m a y be a significant factor in relation to emotional exhaustion in the present sample, an issue considered below under Levels of Burnout. Of the five independent variables, only social support w a s correlated significantly with depersonalization.  W h e n depersonalization w a s analyzed by  multiple regression, social support predicted 5 . 2 % of the variance.  Gender,  entered next, accounted for an additional 2 . 2 % of the variance. As a group, experience a n d percentage counselling a d d e d 1.2% to the prediction, while administrative support w a s excluded. T h e equation w a s significant [ F ( 4 , 1 4 2 ) = 3.344; p =.01]. However, it accounted for just 8 . 6 % of the variance.  Accordingly,  there must be other, more pertinent factors in predicting depersonalization.  In  the Soderfeldt et al. (1995) meta-analysis of burnout in social workers, factors s h o w n to be associated with depersonalization w e r e value conflict, high education, low age, and lack of supervisory support. T h e first of these variables w a s not measured in the present study, and the other three did not prove to be a s s o c i a t e d with depersonalization. As for personal accomplishment, it w a s correlated significantly with social support, administrative support, a n d percentage counselling.  In the regression 65  analysis, all five factors contributed to predict personal accomplishment.  Social  support alone predicted 1 6 . 1 % of the variance, while administrative support accounted for a further, significant amount, 2.4%, of the variance. T h e five variables as a group predicted 2 1 . 3 % of the variance in personal accomplishment. T h e equation w a s significant [ F ( 5 , 1 4 1 ) = 7.614; p < . 0 0 1 ] . Social support, administrative support a n d percentage counselling are undoubtedly related in an important w a y to personal accomplishment in the present sample.  None of these variables w a s f o u n d in the Soderfeldt et al.  (1995) meta-analysis, but it listed other factors s h o w n to be associated negatively with personal accomplishment:  Type A personality, public-sector  work, b a d working conditions, unfair promotional policies, role ambiguity, a n d lack of team support. T h e last two variables m a y be related to aspects of the present study.  In a way, role ambiguity m a y parallel percentage counselling; a  lower percentage of counselling duties implies the presence of teaching or administrative duties, and this combination of roles might create ambiguity. Lack of t e a m support m a y be associated with lack of administrative support, as the principal is customarily e x p e c t e d to develop cohesion a m o n g professional staff. In s u m m a t i o n , the five variables entered into the regression analyses predicted, as a group, only modest proportions of the variance in the three burnout classes. O n e factor of note in e a c h analysis is multicollinearity; the significant correlation ( r = . 3 1 ; p < . 0 1 ) b e t w e e n social support and administrative support meant that the two factors overlapped in explaining variance.  If the  exploratory variables had b e e n entered, they would likely have accounted for little additional variance, for they were not significantly associated with burnout. Other factors that might be better predictors of burnout are discussed below in the sections Further Discussion and R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s for Future Research. 66  Exploratory Variables Three further independent variables — age, education a n d school size — w e r e added to the study as exploratory factors. A g e w a s not correlated significantly with a n y of the burnout classes: emotional exhaustion (r=-.08),  depersonalization (/-=-.01), a n d personal  accomplishment ( r = . 0 5 ) . T h e s e results contrast in part with those of Flournoy (1990), w h o s u r v e y e d psychotherapists e m p l o y e d in college counselling centres in t h e Los Angeles area. S h e f o u n d a significant negative relationship between age a n d emotional exhaustion, a n d attributed it to t w o factors: frustrated idealism a m o n g younger professionals, a n d older w o r k e r s ' more efficient use of time a n d energy.  Flournoy f o u n d no significant correlation  b e t w e e n age a n d depersonalization, or a g e a n d personal accomplishment.  A  study of teacher burnout in Iowa found a similar pattern. Younger teachers reported higher emotional exhaustion than did their older colleagues, but there w a s no significant relationship between a g e a n d either of the other t w o burnout classes (Russell, Altmaier & V a n Velzen, 1987). T h e lack of a significant finding in the present study c a n perhaps be understood in light of the fact that the vast majority of participants w e r e of mature y e a r s ; only 7 . 7 % of the counsellors w e r e younger than age 36. This suggests that maturity is an important criterion in deciding which t e a c h e r s are assigned to counselling positions.  It is reasonable  to s u p p o s e the younger professionals w e r e given counselling duties because, a m o n g other reasons, they displayed the maturity essential to dealing with t h e job's pressures in a w a y that would forestall exhaustion. In a report o n their study of self-efficacy a m o n g elementary a n d high school counsellors in Maine, Sutton a n d Fall (1995) s u g g e s t e d the counsellors'  67  personal level of education as a variable w o r t h investigating. T w o of the major inquiries into counsellor burnout (Flournoy, 1990; Ross, Altmaier & Russell, 1989) confined themselves to doctoral-level professionals. T h e r e is nothing else in the literature about the possible association of burnout and education level. In the present research, education level did not account for significant differences in any burnout class — emotional exhaustion ( F = 0 . 9 2 ; p =.43), depersonalization ( F = 0 . 2 5 ; p =.86), or personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t ( F = 1 . 2 5 ; p =.29). It is difficult to know the meaning of this lack of differences. If it is true, as s o m e burnout theorists say, that burnout arises from difficulties in the personal interactions of helpers with others (Maslach, 1982, p. 3), then education level m a y simply be irrelevant to this interplay. O n the other hand, one must consider that 6 7 . 5 % of the counsellors in the present study had at least a master's degree, and a further 1 7 . 8 % had a graduate diploma. While no information w a s gathered on the disciplines in w h i c h these d e g r e e s and diplomas w e r e granted, it s e e m s safe to state, from anecdotal evidence, that in most cases the fields of study would be counselling, counselling psychology, or related areas s u c h as educational psychology.  In such programs of study, counsellors generally get  information a n d practice in dealing effectively with others without suffering undue strain. In this light, w e might have expected a higher level of education to be associated with lower burnout. Gathering information on fields of study would have permitted further analysis of this p h e n o m e n o n . School size w a s also r e c o m m e n d e d by Sutton and Fall (1995) as a variable worthy of interest in research o n school counsellors. T h e y did not suggest what direction the burnout-size relationship might take.  In the present  study, school size did not account for significant differences in emotional exhaustion ( F = 0 . 8 5 ; p =.49) or in depersonalization ( F = 1 . 4 4 ; p =.23).  There 68  w e r e no significant differences in personal accomplishment either ( F = 2 . 2 3 ; p =.07), but this result trended t o w a r d significance at p < . 0 5 ; larger school size tended to be associated with higher personal accomplishment (a sign of lower burnout). The explanation of this tendency is not clear, but it m a y perhaps be f o u n d in the significant positive correlation b e t w e e n percentage counselling a n d personal accomplishment ( r = . 2 6 ; p < . 0 1 ) . As will be noted in the next section, counsellors in larger schools are far more likely than their counterparts in smaller schools to be counselling full-time, or nearly; this fact, rather than school size in itself, might account for counsellors' tendency to have stronger feelings of personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t in larger schools.  Relationships among Independent Variables S e v e n pairs of independent variables w e r e chosen, a priori, to be e x a m i n e d for relationships. T h e findings are outlined a n d discussed here. A s expected, the correlation b e t w e e n administrative support and social support w a s positive a n d significant ( r = . 3 1 ; p < . 0 1 ) . T h e explanation has several facets. As mentioned in Chapter I, it is difficult to avoid overlap in measuring the t w o types of support. S o m e t i m e s counsellors consider their principals as belonging to their social networks; in fact, o n e participant in this study a d d e d to the questionnaire a note saying his principal w a s his best friend. Administrative support m a y be seen as a type of social support and is s o m e t i m e s measured in that way. For example, Ross, Altmaier and Russell (1989), in studying U.S. college counsellors, appraised support network resources by dividing t h e m into four categories: supervisor(s), co-workers, spouse, a n d friends/relatives. Another factor helping to explain the correlation  69  f o u n d is that both support variables w e r e m e a s u r e d by perception.  Counsellors'  general orientation to the world m a y have produced part of the correlation.  For  instance, counsellors w h o felt lonely m a y have minimized, consciously or unconsciously, their feelings of being supported by principals, friends a n d family m e m b e r s , while optimistic counsellors m a y have m a x i m i z e d such feelings. Administrative support w a s also correlated positively and significantly (r =.27; p < 0 1 ) with percentage of time counselling; that is, the higher the proportion of work time designated for counselling, the higher the counsellor's perception of administrative support w a s likely to be. This result m a y be explained tentatively.  Most counsellors w h o have b e e n assigned to s p e n d all or  most of their work time counselling are likely to feel they have the confidence of the principal. Counsellors w h o s p e n d less time counselling m a y feel they have not entirely proven themselves to their principals, a n d w o u l d feel less support. T h e latter group m a y also be more vulnerable to the role conflict that affects professionals w h o fill two different roles (in this case, usually teaching in addition to counselling); this m a y influence their perception of support as well. Another factor to consider is the pair of significant correlations, discussed above, b e t w e e n percentage counselling a n d personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t ( r = . 2 6 ; p < 0 1 ) a n d b e t w e e n administrative support a n d personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t (also r - 2 6 ; p < . 0 1 ) . It is impossible to determine causation in the interplay of these three variables.  It is reasonable to speculate that both higher administrative  support a n d higher percentage counselling play a role in promoting feelings of personal accomplishment. However, it m a y also be true that a sense of e n h a n c e d personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t is g e n e r a t e d in counsellors w h o are assigned a high percentage of counselling duties, a n d this in turn m a y predispose t h e m to look upon their principal's behaviour as being m o r e  70  supportive. T h e r e w e r e no significant differences in administrative support by size of school ( F = 0 . 9 3 ; p =.45). There is nothing in the literature to indicate that s u c h differences exist. Anecdotal evidence is mixed. Counsellors and teachers s o m e t i m e s remark that smaller schools are more closely knit; accordingly, o n e might expect higher perceived support f r o m principals there than in larger schools. O n the other hand (as will be s e e n below), in larger schools counsellors are more likely to s p e n d all, or almost all, their time counselling; therefore, they might consider they have the confidence of the principal in their counselling role, and this belief would be reflected in their perception of administrative support. Heaney (1993), in a study of perceived control in the workplace, suggested w o m e n and m e n m a y perceive supervisory support in different w a y s . In the present study, gender did not account for a significant difference in perceived administrative support (t = - 0 . 5 2 ; p =.60). In considering these results, it is important to bear in mind that most high school principals are m e n ; obtaining data o n principals' gender w o u l d allow exploration of s a m e - g e n d e r a n d different-gender relationships b e t w e e n counsellors a n d principals. Social support w a s correlated significantly (r=A6)  with age, older  counsellors tending to report higher perceived social support than did y o u n g e r ones. This finding m a y be explained in two ways. First, given that it w a s counsellors' perception of support that w a s m e a s u r e d , older counsellors m a y have a fuller, more reflective a w a r e n e s s than do younger counsellors of their personal social network and its value to t h e m . S e c o n d , counsellors' perception m a y simply coincide with reality; older counsellors m a y indeed have wider a n d deeper social and familial connections t h a n d o their younger colleagues. 71  T h e r e w a s no significant difference in social support by gender (t = - 0 . 1 9 ; p =.85). In the vast literature on social support there is s o m e evidence, albeit tentative a n d often inconsistent, of gender differences in various aspects of social support.  For example, Mallinckrodt and Fretz (1988) found that older  professional w o m e n w h o had lost their jobs reported greater social support t h a n their male counterparts; however, the participants in that study were not helping professionals, their n u m b e r w a s very small, and they w e r e all middle-aged or older, s o conclusions are difficult to draw. Other research connecting gender and social support had similar limitations. A s for the current study, perception w a s the sole aspect of social support measured, and it appears to be unaffected by gender.  If social support had b e e n m e a s u r e d in other established w a y s —  for instance, by an inventory of friends and family members, or by frequency of social contacts with t h e m , or b y d i a g r a m m i n g social networks — the results might be different. T h e r e w e r e significant differences in percentage of time counselling by school size ( F = 4 . 8 9 ; p =.001); the larger the school, the greater the counsellor's percentage of work time designated for counselling t e n d e d to be. This finding was as expected, a n d is largely attributable to differences in the apportionment of counselling time in schools of various sizes. Small schools tend t o have two counsellors (administrators prefer to have o n e female and o n e male) but often there are insufficient counselling hours available for these counselling positions to be full-time, so the incumbents teach or administer as well. In medium-sized schools there are typically two or three full-time counsellors along with o n e or more part-time ones. In very large schools there is plenty of counselling time to be allotted, and this permits several full-time counsellors (frequently one for e a c h g r a d e level).  72  Levels of Burnout T h e participants in this research reported significantly higher emotional exhaustion than did the normative group of mental health professionals {t = 4 . 2 6 ; p < . 0 0 1 ) . However, they reported significantly lower depersonalization [t = - 5 . 3 4 ; p < . 0 0 1 ) and significantly higher personal accomplishment, an indication of low burnout (f =31.24; p < . 0 0 1 ) . Drawing conclusions f r o m c o m p a r i s o n of this s a m p l e with the norms must be done with caution. Although the normative group c h o s e n for the c o m p a r i s o n w a s , in its composition, the closest fit to the high school counsellor sample, there is hardly an ideal correspondence b e t w e e n the two. T h e Maslach Burnout Inventory mental health s a m p l e included school counsellors but also several other types of mental health w o r k e r s including psychologists and psychiatrists. It is possible that working conditions, types of clients, problems addressed, and personal influences m a y differ greatly between the two groups. C o m p a r i s o n s of burnout levels must be regarded in that light. With this caution in mind, it is still worth considering the relatively high level of emotional exhaustion f o u n d in the present sample, especially in view of the low levels of burnout found in the other two categories.  If emotional  exhaustion w e r e low, o n e might conclude that burnout a p p e a r e d not to b e a serious issue for high school counsellors; as it is rather high, it merits more attention than the other two burnout classes. Regrettably, the independent variables selected for this study do not allow us to account for m u c h of the comparatively high levels of emotional exhaustion — the feeling of being emotionally o v e r e x t e n d e d a n d fatigued b y one's work, so that one feels less able to give of oneself.  Emotional exhaustion  73  w a s significantly correlated with administrative support ( r = - . 1 8 ) ; this explained only 4 . 3 % of the variance in emotional exhaustion.  Emotional exhaustion w a s  correlated weakly and not significantly with social support ( r = - . 1 0 ) , and not significantly with a n y other independent variable.  Plainly, w e must look  elsewhere for explanations, w h i c h are necessarily speculative. In their meta-analysis of studies of burnout in social work, Soderfeldt, Soderfeldt, and W a r g (1995) outlined factors s h o w n b y various researchers to be related to emotional exhaustion: role conflict, b o r e d o m , low job satisfaction, and intention to c h a n g e jobs. T h e present study did not measure these four factors, and it is possible that s o m e or all of t h e m are associated with the quite high level of emotional exhaustion f o u n d ; they merit further research. T h e relatively high emotional exhaustion f o u n d in the sample suggests that help should be offered to counsellors w h o w a n t it. Intervention could be a i m e d primarily at counsellors' inner world, at the external stress factors, or both. In the first case, programs could help counsellors develop the attitudes, coping strategies, new counselling behaviours a n d other aptitudes that might alleviate job stress a n d lessen emotional exhaustion. S u c h interventions could take f o r m s similar to those offered by counsellors to their clients w h o have similar problems (for a review, see Pearson, 1990). In the s e c o n d case, the specific stressors in the job, if identified, could be minimized by counteractions as needed — for instance, cutting the work load, changing or clarifying the role description of counsellors, or providing t h e m with additional free time, more comfortable office space, higher prestige, or other f o r m s of support. S o m e sources of stress in m o d e r n high school counselling are discussed further in the next section. However, if interventions are to be useful, they will need to be b a s e d o n further research into factors related to emotional exhaustion.  74  Further Discussion T h e results reaffirm the relevance of perceived social a n d administrative support to burnout. O n the other hand, with the exception of the two variables that appear pertinent to personal accomplishment, the six counsellor and job characteristics s h o w e d only weak, nonsignificant associations with burnout. This implies that other factors are more important. S o m e variables of interest are suggested in this section, which outlines a few contemporary issues in the working lives of British Columbia high school counsellors. M a n y of these counsellors have m a d e anecdotal reports (some of which w e r e a p p e n d e d to the questionnaire used in this research, t h o u g h they w e r e not requested) of feeling o v e r w h e l m e d by one or more aspects of their work: the seemingly ever-increasing d e m a n d s of their job, higher caseloads, the tedium of the paperwork burden, lack of helpful evaluation of their work, and difficulty created by the lack of a clear role definition for t h e m . Each issue is considered here in turn. As to rising d e m a n d s on their time and talents, counsellors often find themselves having to fill the responsibilities of others — for example, to sort out personal problems of students that in an earlier era w o u l d have b e e n handled by parents. T h e r e are counsellors w h o are not educated or inclined to do therapeutic work w h o nevertheless feel forced to take it on because family support a n d c o m m u n i t y resources are not available to students. More and more, counsellors do social problem-solving work s u c h as presenting antibullying w o r k s h o p s to groups of their student clients. T h e y also serve, with increasing frequency, as unofficial hosts to social workers w h o visit the school on child-welfare a n d child-custody investigations, to police personnel, a n d to a  75  variety of other visitors. T h e s e extra duties must be considered deleterious for counsellors in view of evidence that job settings that are burnout-prone are characterized by work overload (Flournoy, 1990). Caseloads have b e e n increased sharply in recent years as a result of budget cuts to British Columbia schools. In early 1998, a survey by the British C o l u m b i a School Counsellors Association s h o w e d that student/counsellor ratios in the province's high schools varied from 541/1 to 2 2 5 / 1 . Reporting the results of the survey, the association's president noted that the average ratio has increased sharply, leading to a wearing a w a y of direct counselling time with students: Erosion has several f a c e s : elimination of services; increased teaching time; increased paper work (particularly at the senior secondary level), meetings, a n d consultation with staff a n d parents. In s o m e districts, erosion has been quite subtle. Until the counsellors actually sat d o w n a n d looked at w h a t counselling services they had b e e n providing for students four years ago and what they are doing today, they did not realize how m u c h actual counselling time they had lost! A n d while our services are being eroded, w e are all seeing more a n d more needy children in our schools (Clayton, 1998, p. 1-2). Paperwork appears to be a particular a n n o y a n c e to counsellors, at least in s o m e school districts. Counsellors have reported their frustration at the mounting paperwork thrust upon t h e m — for instance, g o v e r n m e n t a n d school district forms, a n d scholarship applications for senior students. (A f e w school districts employ clerical workers to perform these tasks.) T h e s e c o m m e n t s e c h o the finding of Partin (1993) that there is an e n o r m o u s difference between the ideal a n d actual time designated for school counselling, especially in view of  76  the increasingly h e a v y load of clerical and quasi-administrative tasks involved in the job. Constructive evaluation of counsellors' work is frequently lacking.  While  the work of high school teachers is evaluated objectively at least s o m e t i m e s (for example, through provincial e x a m results a n d school test results c o m p a r e d with those of other teachers), the effectiveness of counsellors' work is intrinsically hard to measure.  Administrators a n d fellow counsellors are understandably  reluctant to intrude on the privacy of m u c h counselling work, but the lack of suitable evaluation m a y contribute to isolation, confusion, or the repetition of pointless or negative counselling behaviour. T h e role ambiguity inherent in being a counsellor s e e m s troublesome to m a n y counsellors. Expectations for counsellors vary a m o n g school districts, a m o n g schools in the s a m e district, and even a m o n g counsellors in the s a m e school. Role confusion has m a n y causes a n d takes diverse forms.  Often  counsellors feel c o n f u s e d or upset b e c a u s e their c o m m i t m e n t to the educational, personal and social d e v e l o p m e n t of students c o m e s into conflict with the d e m a n d s of the s y s t e m ; s o m e counsellors are e x p e c t e d to discipline students, to look after attendance monitoring a n d follow-up, to do timetabling, to cover teachers' classes, or to submit to various other administrative intrusions on their time a n d preferred role.  T h e s e matters can have direct, harmful effects  on the counsellor; moreover, they can undermine or destroy the studentcounsellor relationship, as the student m a y no longer see the counsellor as a safe and confidential source of support.  A n additional c o n c e r n for counsellors  at the m o m e n t is the potential influence o n their work of the province's new Ministry for Children and Families. This ministry w a s established to play the leading role in providing social services to children a n d adolescents.  Until now,  77  the ministry's work in schools has b e e n mostly confined to the elementary level. High school counsellors have noted little impact on their work, but s o m e are c o n c e r n e d that a projected reorganization of counselling services for adolescents might change or even usurp their present role. Incertitude about how the work of the two groups will interact, and to what effect, is causing disquiet (Clayton, 1998, p. 2). O n e important aspect of the role confusion is that in British Columbia, as in many other places, the high school counsellor's duties are not specified legally or contractually. W h e t h e r the ambiguity of the role helps to create the contractual vagueness, or results from it, is debatable. In any case, counsellors have no specific legal support in saying "no" to having extraneous or contradictory duties imposed on t h e m . Attempts have been m a d e to develop a role description that can be used by counsellors individually or in groups to assert their desires for, and their rights to, a clear a n d workable role in the schools. T h e British C o l u m b i a School Counsellors Association outlined a job description that included four major e l e m e n t s : counselling, consultation, c o ordination and education. This framework w a s adopted by the provincial education ministry (British C o l u m b i a Ministry of Education, 1995, p. D5-6). However, given the disparities in the expectations held for counsellors in different schools, districts a n d regions, and the relative isolation of m a n y counsellors, little progress has been m a d e in implementing this model. It m a y be prudent for counsellors to unify themselves more and to press more strongly for the dignity and clarity of their role. If these five issues in the current working lives of British Columbia high school counsellors had been considered in the present research, it is likely that more of the variance in burnout would have been explained. W h i c h of the five variables would have predicted c h a n g e s in specific burnout classes is a matter 78  of speculation, but a meta-analysis of research on burnout in social w o r k provides clues.  Soderfeldt, Soderfeldt, and W a r g (1995) f o u n d that emotional  exhaustion had b e e n associated with role conflict and with b o r e d o m .  Therefore,  role ambiguity and the tedium of paperwork m a y help to further explain emotional exhaustion. Soderfeldt et al. f o u n d depersonalization to be related to value conflict. T h e role ambiguity often reported anecdotally by counsellors m a y reflect such conflict. Asking counsellors to specify the vagueness, the dilemmas and the contradictions associated with their work might lead us to a deeper understanding of depersonalization.  A s to personal accomplishment,  role ambiguity again a p p e a r e d in the Soderfeldt et al. study a s an important related factor.  In addition, public-sector work and bad w o r k i n g conditions w e r e  related to reduced personal accomplishment.  In an era of governmental budget  cuts, the increasing d e m a n d s o n counsellors' time a n d the higher caseloads m a y explain an important proportion of variance in personal accomplishment. Clearly, the five elements of high school counsellors' c o n t e m p o r a r y work situation discussed in this section need to be w e i g h e d in any further research that is done, in the possible d e v e l o p m e n t of supportive interventions, a n d in any practical and policy c h a n g e s designed to e n h a n c e counsellors' work.  The  quickly changing nature a n d circumstances of counsellors' work point to the need to consult counsellors directly about research variables, interventions, a n d ongoing c h a n g e s to their job descriptions a n d responsibilities.  Recommendations for Future Research  This concluding section comprises s o m e general suggestions o n how other investigators could proceed with research on this topic, and then s o m e 79  more specific r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s of variables to be e x a m i n e d . As noted in the review of the literature, burnout a m o n g high school counsellors has attracted scant attention.  Burnout studies in general are  s o m e t i m e s hard to evaluate because of the great variety of methods and instruments used, the s o m e t i m e s v a g u e reporting, a n d the inadequately defined samples employed.  Investigations need to be designed rigourously, s a m p l e s  need to be c h o s e n carefully a n d with little regard for convenience, and t h o r o u g h statistical analysis should be brought to bear.  Much remains to be done if a  strong understanding of the problem is to be developed. Although burnout is widely viewed as a m e n a c e , little is actually k n o w n about its prevalence. W e need more studies employing descriptive statistics to define the prevalence of burnout in the schools of various school districts, provinces, e v e n countries. T h e r e is now little empirical justification for a n s w e r s to such questions as: 1. "What percentage of the counsellor population is burned out?" and 2. "Do people get over being burned out, and if so d o e s the problem recur?" This first question raises a central issue: the lack of a clearcut border between burnout cases and non-cases. T h e r e is a natural reluctance to label people, a n d scores on the MBI a n d on other instruments are usually c o m p a r e d to the relevant norms without any effort to s a y whether the individual is burned out; the interventions that have b e e n developed are simply a i m e d at moderating the burnout and thus lowering the score. Adopting cutoff points might help researchers f o c u s their attention on dealing with the serious c a s e s and might also promote knowledge about the varying effects of burnout at different levels, from low to high. T h e s e c o n d question a b o v e underlines the importance of longitudinal 80  studies.  Despite the practical a n d methodological difficulties inherent in s u c h  research, the longitudinal approach will be n e e d e d to o v e r c o m e the limitations of correlational research, in which cause-and-effect inferences cannot be drawn.  For example, the present study confirmed the relationship of  administrative support to burnout, but cannot draw conclusions about causation. In contrast, longitudinal studies have already fingered lack of supervisory support as an antecedent of burnout (Maslach & Schaufeli, 1993).  Longitudinal  research would also provide information about the p h a s e s of burnout. Research into the natural cycles of school life as they affect counsellors could yield interesting results. Although the pattern of such cycles is the subject of m u c h debate a m o n g counsellors, m a n y of t h e m would report that their morale and energy are stronger at certain stages of the school year than at others. This research w a s conducted in February, mid-year for schools on a linear timetable but the beginning of a semester for schools on a semester timetable. It is impossible to know h o w this timing affected the results. Future research could investigate seasonal fluctuations b y surveying counsellors more than once during the year. There is a need for a c o m m o n language to denote the p h e n o m e n o n of burnout wherever and whenever it m a y appear.  Using the s a m e measure in all  research w o u l d provide consistency and comparability. T h e Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) is by far the most popular instrument and has well-established psychometric utility. Moreover, research outside North A m e r i c a s h o w s the MBI's exportability. "Available studies reveal patterns of burnout covariates m u c h like those isolated in U.S. a n d C a n a d i a n settings. Specifically, the three s u b d o m a i n s of burnout seem to be perceived similarly by samples from different nations" (Golembiewski, Scherb, & Boudreau, 1993, p. 235). Therefore, future  studies would probably benefit f r o m using the M B I . Notwithstanding this suggestion, it is striking that self-report m e a s u r e s such as the MBI are often the only index of burnout used in studies. Researchers seldom consider such items as job performance evaluations, absenteeism, turnover, illness, a n d ratings by other such a s colleagues, clients or family. T h e relationship b e t w e e n these m e a s u r e s and self-reported burnout needs investigation. Inquiring into relationships a m o n g the three classes of burnout considered by the MBI is another potentially rewarding a v e n u e of research.  For  instance, could feelings of frustration a n d reduced personal a c c o m p l i s h m e n t lead to emotional exhaustion, and could that then lead to depersonalization? Alternatively, might emotional exhaustion f r o m overwork provoke depersonalization, which in turn could lead to impaired feelings of personal accomplishment? effect?  Or could there be a completely different chain of c a u s e - a n d -  If such s e q u e n c e s could be identified, corrective action would be easier  to develop and to implement successfully. This study did not inquire into the specific stressful events that counsellors encounter at work. A future investigation could develop a measure of job-related stressful incidents. Perhaps a pilot study could ask a sample of counsellors to list the most stressful events or situations they had experienced in the preceding months or the previous school year — for example, "having to take work h o m e on the w e e k e n d " or "argument with a colleague".  Researchers  then could combine similar replies and m a k e up an inventory of events for use in their research; participants in the s e c o n d stage of the research would indicate whether they had experienced e a c h type of event a n d , if so, would indicate on a scale how stressful the event w a s to t h e m . T h e researchers could use the  82  number of experienced events as o n e measure of stress, and the subjective ratings of intensity of stress as another measure. O n e potential use of s u c h an instrument w o u l d be in research into the mutual interaction between stress and burnout — i.e. how stress m a y create burnout, and how burnout m a y increase the number of stresses experienced or intensify their effect. There m a y be patterns of influence that are so far u n k n o w n ; as a speculative example, disputes with colleagues or administrators might be s h o w n to be more frequent or m o r e d a m a g i n g to counsellors t h a n are problems in dealing with student clients. If such patterns w e r e known, remedies might be more easily obtained. In addition to the general r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s m a d e s o far, here are several more specific ones about variables that might profitably be considered in future investigations. This study f o u n d no relationship b e t w e e n the counsellors' gender a n d their perceptions of administrative support, but the survey did not inquire about the gender of principals. Until recently, this question would have b e e n almost pointless, as virtually all high school principals w e r e men. However, with more w o m e n acceeding to the position, future studies might ask for the gender of both counsellors a n d principals, with a view to determining whether perceived support of s a m e - g e n d e r principals differs f r o m that of opposite-gender principals. Although the principal is usually s e e n to set the tone in a school, there is a wider school culture that could be investigated. T h e importance of collegial support, including that of counsellors from other schools or other counselling settings as well as that of counsellors and teachers in the s a m e school, is widely a c k n o w l e d g e d , but such support has not b e e n thoroughly e x a m i n e d in 83  connection with burnout. T h e current study did not inquire into the personal lives of counsellors. O n e interesting approach would be to consider the influence on burnout of a caregiving role at h o m e ; in other words, is counsellors' burnout mitigated, or exacerbated, by having responsibility for others? Or, marital status, although this is s o m e w h a t difficult to define at present, could be considered.  Ross,  Altmaier and Russell (1989), in their study of U.S. university counselling centres, f o u n d that married counsellors suffered m o r e emotional exhaustion than did unmarried ones; however, they noted earlier studies s h o w i n g just the opposite. Another avenue of inquiry would be to find out precisely what counsellors do during their working day. Asking them to specify their duties, along with the a m o u n t of time allotted to each, w o u l d garner valuable information. Researchers might discover, for instance, whether a counsellor with a heavy paper burden is more likely to be burned out than one w h o s p e n d s most of the day in group guidance sessions, or one w h o offers intense individual counselling for personal issues. In light of the widely a c c e p t e d importance of coping strategies in dealing successfully with stress, future burnout studies could investigate the particular w a y s in which counsellors endeavour to deal with the daily pressures of their lives and jobs. S o w a , M a y a n d Niles (1994) f o u n d that rational-cognitive problem-solving ability w a s not associated with reported stress levels a m o n g school counsellors in Virginia; the researchers suggested that other coping resources might prove to be of greater importance.  Instruments measuring a  range of coping processes such as confrontive coping, escape-avoidance, and positive reappraisal (e.g. the W a y s of C o p i n g Questionnaire, designed by Folkman a n d Lazarus) are available and could yield interesting results. 84  References A m e r i c a n Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic a n d statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, D.C.: Author. Arends, R. I. (1982). T h e meaning of administrative support. Administration Quarterly, 18, 79-92.  Educational  Barrera, M., Jr. (1981). Social support of pregnant adolescents: A s s e s s m e n t issues. In B. H. Gottlieb (Ed.), Social networks and social support. Beverly Hills: Sage. Beemsterboer, J . , & Baum, B. H. (1984). "Burnout": Definitions and health care m a n a g e m e n t . Social W o r k in Health Care, 10, 97-109. Blase, J . J . (1982). A social-psychological g r o u n d e d theory of teacher stress and burnout. Educational Administration Quarterly, 18, 93-113. Brady, J . L , Healy, F. C , Norcross, J . C , & Guy, J . D. (1995). Stress in counsellors: A n integrative research review. In Dryden, W. (Ed.). T h e stresses of counselling in action. L o n d o n : Sage. British C o l u m b i a Ministry of Education. (1995). Special education services manual of policies, procedures and guidelines. Victoria: C r o w n Publications. Capner, M., & Caltabiano, M. L. (1993). Factors affecting the progression towardsburnout: A c o m p a r i s o n of professional and volunteer counsellors. Psychological Reports. 73, 5 5 5 - 5 6 1 . Carrilio, T. E., & Eisenberg, D. M. (1984). Using peer support to prevent worker burnout. Social C a s e w o r k : T h e Journal of C o n t e m p o r a r y Social Work, 307-310. Cherniss, C. (1995). Beyond burnout: Helping teachers, nurses, therapists a n d lawyers recover from stress a n d disillusionment. New York: Routledge. Cherniss, C , & Krantz, D. L. (1983). T h e ideological c o m m u n i t y as a n antidote to burnout in the h u m a n services. In B. A. Farber (Ed.), Stress a n d burnout in the h u m a n service professions, (pp. 198-212). New York: Pergamon.  85  Clayton, S. (1998, Spring). Data s u m m a r y raises questions. B.C. School Counsellors Newsletter, 27. 1-2. Cobb, S. (1976). Social support as a moderator of life stress. Medicine, 38. 300-314.  Psychosomatic  C o h e n , L H. (Ed.) (1988). Life events a n d psychological functioning. L o n d o n : Sage. Corcoran, K. J . , & Bryce, A. K. (1983). Intervention in the experience of burnout: Effects of skill development. Journal of Social Service Research, 7, 7 1 79. Cutrona, C. E., & Russell, D. W. (1987). T h e provisions of social relationships and adaptation to stress. In W. H. J o n e s & D. Perlman (Eds.), Advances in personal relationships (Vol. 1, pp. 37-67). G r e e n w i c h , C T : JAI Press. Day, J . M. (1994). Obligation and motivation: Obstacles a n d resources for counselor well-being a n d effectiveness. Journal of Counseling and Development, 73, 108-110. Donaldson, G. A., & Coladarci, T. (1987, April). Using school climate a s s e s s m e n t s : A n a p p r o a c h to collaborative school improvement. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, W a s h i n g t o n , D C . Dryden, W. (Ed.). (1995). T h e stresses of counselling in action. L o n d o n : Sage. Farber, B. A. (1983). Introduction: A critical perspective on burnout. In B. A. Farber (Ed.), Stress and burnout in the h u m a n service professions, (pp. 1-20). New York: P e r g a m o n . Flournoy, S. A. (1990). Burnout a m o n g psychotherapists: Effects of work environment, stressful life events, coping, and social support. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of S o u t h e r n California, Los Angeles. Freudenberger, H. J . (1983). A psychoanalytic view of burnout. In B. A. Farber (Ed.), Stress a n d burnout in the h u m a n service professions, (pp. 23-28). N e w York: P e r g a m o n . Freudenberger, H. J . (1974). Staff burn-out. Journal of Social Issues. 3 0 (1). 159-165.  86  Golembiewski, R. T., Scherb, K., & Boudreau, R. A. (1993). Burnout in crossnational settings: Generic a n d model-specific perspectives. In Schaufeli, W. B., Maslach, C , & Marek, T. (Eds.). Professional burnout: Recent developments in theory and research, (pp. 217-236). London: Taylor & Francis. Greenglass, E. R. (1993). Social support a n d coping of e m p l o y e d w o m e n . B. C. Long & S. E. Kahn (Eds.), W o m e n , work, and coping: A multidisciplinary approach to workplace stress. Montreal: McGillQ u e e n ' s University Press.  In  Grosch, W. N., & Olsen, D.C. (1994). W h e n helping starts to hurt: A new look at burnout a m o n g psychotherapists. N e w York: Norton. Hargrove, D. S. (1989). Review of the Maslach Burnout Inventory, S e c o n d Edition. In J . C. Conoley & J . J . K r a m e r , (Eds.), T h e tenth mental m e a s u r e m e n t s yearbook (pp. 473-475). Lincoln, N E : Buros Institute of Mental M e a s u r e m e n t s . Heaney, C. A. (1993). Perceived control a n d e m p l o y e d m e n a n d w o m e n . In B. C. Long & S. E. Kahn (Eds.), W o m e n , work, and coping: A multidisciplinary a p p r o a c h to workplace stress. Montreal: McGillQ u e e n ' s University Press. H y m a n , R. B. (1993). Evaluation of an intervention for staff in a long-term care facility using a retrospective pretest design. Evaluation and the Health Professions, 16. 212-224. Jupp, J . J . , & Shaul, V. (1991). Burn-out in student counsellors. Psychology Quarterly. 4. 157-167.  Counselling  Kahili, S. (1988). Interventions for burnout in the helping professions: A review of the empirical evidence. C a n a d i a n Journal of Counselling. 2 2 , 162169. Kahili, S. (1986). Relationship of burnout a m o n g professional psychologists to professional expectations a n d social support. Psychological Reports. 59. 1043-1051. Kruger, L. J . , Botman, H. I., & Goodenow, C. (1991). A n investigation of social support a n d burnout a m o n g residential counselors. Child a n d Y o u t h Care Forum. 20. 335-352.  87  Long, B.C., & Kahn, S.E. (Eds.). (1993). W o m e n , work, and coping: A multidisciplinary approach to workplace stress. Montreal: McGillQ u e e n ' s University Press. Maslach, C. (1982). Burnout: T h e cost of caring. Englewood Cliffs, N J : Prentice-Hall. Maslach, C , & J a c k s o n , S. E. (1986). Maslach Burnout Inventory Manual (2nd ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press. Maslach, C , & J a c k s o n , S. E. (1981). Maslach Burnout Inventory Research Edition M a n u a l . Palo Alto, C A : Consulting Psychologists Press. Maslach, C , & Schaufeli, W. B. (1993). Historical and conceptual development of burnout. In W. B. Schaufeli, C. Maslach, & T. Marek (Eds.), Professional burnout: Recent developments in theory a n d research (pp. 1-16). London: Taylor & Francis. Nagy, S., & Davis, L. G. (1985). Burnout: A comparative analysis of personality a n d environmental variables. Psychological Reports. 57, 1319-1326. Partin, R. L. (1993). School counselors' time: W h e r e d o e s it go? T h e School Counselor. 40. 2 7 4 - 2 8 1 . Pearson, R. E. (1990). Counseling and social support: Perspectives and practice. London: Sage. Phillips, E. L. (1982). Stress, health a n d psychological problems in the major professions. Washington, D C : University Press of America. Pines, A., & Aronson, E. (1988). Career burnout: C a u s e s a n d cures. New York: Free Press. Pines, A., & Maslach, C. (1980). Combatting staff burn-out in a day care center: A case study. Child Care Quarterly, 9. 5-16. Ross, R. R., Altmaier, E. M., & Russell, D. W. (1989). Job stress, social support, a n d burnout a m o n g counseling centre staff. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 36. 464-470. Russell, D., Altmaier, E. M., & V a n Velzen, D. (1987). Job-related stress, social support, and burnout a m o n g classroom teachers. Journal of Applied Psychology. 72. 269-274.  88  Sandoval, J . (1989). Review of the Maslach Burnout Inventory, S e c o n d Edition. In J . C. Conoley & J . J . Kramer, (Eds.), T h e tenth mental measurements yearbook (pp. 475-476). Lincoln, N E : Buros Institute of Mental Measurements. S c h w a b , R. L , & Iwanicki, E. F. (1982). Perceived role conflict, role ambiguity, and teacher burnout. Educational Administration Quarterly, 18. 60-74. Selder, F. E., & Paustian, A. (1989). Burnout: Absence of vision. In D. T. Wessells, Jr., et al. (Eds.). Professional burnout in medicine and the helping professions, (pp. 73-82). New York: Haworth Press. Shinn, M., Rosario, M., Morch, H., & Chestnut, D. E. (1984). Coping with job stress and burnout in the h u m a n services. Journal of Personality a n d Social Psychology. 46. 864-876. Soderfeldt, M., Soderfeldt, B., & W a r g , L.-E. (1995). Burnout in social work. Social Work. 40. 638-646. S o w a , C. J . , May, K. M., & Niles, S. G. (1994). Occupational stress within the counseling profession: Implications for counselor training. Counselor Education a n d Supervision. 34. 19-29. Sutton, J . M., Jr., & Fall, M. (1995). T h e relationship of school climate factors to counselor self-efficacy. Journal of Counseling a n d Development. 73. 331-336. Ulrich, D. N., & Dunne, H. P., Jr. (1986). T o love and work: A systemic interlocking of family, workplace, a n d career. N e w York: Brunner/Mazel. Vaux, A., Phillips, J . , Holly, L , T h o m s o n , B., Williams, D., & Stewart, D. (1986). T h e Social Support Appraisals (SS-A) Scale: Studies of reliability a n d validity. American Journal of C o m m u n i t y Psychology, 14, 195-219. Wessells, D. T., Jr., et al. (Eds.). (1989). Professional burnout in medicine a n d the helping professions. New York: Haworth Press. Williams, A. (1995). Self-care and the counsellor: A literary review. T h e B.C. Counsellor. 17. 26-32. World Health Organization. (1992). T h e ICD-10 classification of mental a n d behavioural disorders: Clinical descriptions a n d diagnostic guidelines. G e n e v a : Author.  89  Appendix A Notes on Returns and Scoring Returns  Of the 265 surveys mailed out on February 1, 1998, 163 w e r e filled in and returned, for a return rate of 6 1 . 5 1 % . Included in the return rate w e r e six questionnaires that w e r e not u s e d : — O n e w a s discarded because only scattered parts of it w e r e completed, and the respondent a p p e a r e d to have seriously misunderstood the directions. —  Another w a s set aside because Part IV (the burnout measure) had  b e e n d e t a c h e d and w a s not returned. — A third questionnaire w a s not used because the respondent, normally a counsellor, w a s teaching full time that school year a n d not counselling at all. — T h r e e questionnaires arrived too late to be included in the analysis. Five additional questionnaires w e r e returned without being filled in; these w e r e not included in the return rate. T h e 157 surveys used in this study w e r e complete except for s e v e n that lacked a response on years of counselling experience, and three that lacked an answer on the percentage of time designated for counselling.  Scoring  In consultation with Dr. Beth Haverkamp, a m e m b e r of the research committee, decisions w e r e m a d e about h o w to deal consistently with occasional responses that did not entirely fit the directions on the questionnaire. 90  O n the burnout measure, from time to time a n s w e r s s u c h as "always" and "once in a while" w e r e entered instead of the required numbers. T h e s e replies w e r e converted into the most closely corresponding numbers. Also on the burnout measure, a n s w e r s on individual items w e r e s o m e t i m e s omitted. Each missing answer w a s scored as the average of the other scores o n the subscale to which the item belonged. In all parts of the questionnaire, w h e n e v e r a participant g a v e t w o a n s w e r s to an item, or an answer fell between t w o scores, the higher score w a s used.  91  Appendix B  Covering Letter  Appendix C  High School Counsellor Questionnaire  High School Counsellor Questionnaire In Part I of this survey, y o u are a s k e d for information about you and your job. T h e n , in Part II, y o u are a s k e d to c o m m e n t on a set of statements about your relationships with family and friends. Part III invites y o u to respond to statements about your principal. Finally, in Part IV, y o u are a s k e d to s a y how frequently y o u e x p e r i e n c e s o m e job-related feelings.  Part I  Please provide the following information by filling the blank or using a • , a s n e e d e d .  a. Age: b. Gender:  Female  Male  c. Years of experience as a part-time and / or full-time counsellor: d. Highest degree y o u hold (in any field of study): Bachelor's Graduate Diploma Master's Doctorate e. T h e student population of your school is: Less than 500  500-999 1500-1999  1000-1499 2000 or more  f. Specify your present regular duties in the school: Counselling only Counselling and other duties s u c h a s administration or teaching  *  * If y o u have duties other than counselling, please indicate the percentage of your time that is designated for counselling:  1  %  95"  Part II  Below is a list of statements about your relationships with  family and friends.  By circling one number in e a c h row, please indicate how m u c h y o u disagree or agree with each statement.  Strongly disagree  Disagree  Agree  Strongly agree  1. M y friends respect me.  1  2  3  4  2. My family cares for m e very much.  1  2  3  4  3. I a m not important to others.  1  2  3  4  4. M y family holds m e in high e s t e e m .  1  2  3  4  5. I a m well liked.  1  2  3  4  6. I can rely on m y friends.  1  2  3  4  7. I a m really admired by m y family.  1  2  3  4  8. I a m respected by other people.  1  2  3  4  9. I a m loved dearly by m y family.  1  2  3  4  10. My friends don't care about m y welfare.  1  2  3  4  1 1 . M e m b e r s of m y family rely o n me.  1  2  3  4  12. I am held in high e s t e e m .  1  2  3  4  13. I can't rely on my family for support.  1  2  3  4  14. People admire me.  1  2  3  4  15. I feel a strong bond with m y friends.  1  2  3  4  16. M y friends look out for me.  1  2  3  4  17. I feel valued by other people.  1  2  3  4  18. My family really respects me.  1  2  3  4  2  16  Strongly disagree  Disagree  Agree  Strongly agree  19. M y friends and I are really important to each other. 20. I feel like I belong. 2 1 . If I died tomorrow, very few people would miss me. 22. I don't feel close to m e m b e r s of my family. 23. My friends and I have done a lot for one another.  Part III Here are s o m e statements about your  principal. Please indicate the relative  f r e q u e n c y with which these behaviours occur (or would occur) by circling one number after each statement.  1. My principal makes supportive statements about m y work.  2. M y principal helps m e to be clear about m y role.  Never  Rarely  1  2  Sometimes 3  Usually  Always  4  5  1  3. My principal would defend m e against dissenting voices. 3  97  Never  Rarely  Sometimes  Usually  Always  4. My principal gives m e resources I value (e.g. free time, clerical support, professional growth opportunities, desirable office space).  5. M y principal m a k e s time available to deal with m y projects and concerns.  6. M y principal knows how I contribute to the school.  7.  My principal encourages me to express my ideas.  8.  My principal w o u l d help relieve the pressure if I felt o v e r w h e l m e d by the d e m a n d s of the job.  M y principal would consider m y needs w h e n changes w e r e being m a d e that would affect me and m y work.  10. M y principal's style of leadership is one with which I am comfortable.  Part IV Please see the next sheet. O n it, recipients  refers to the students y o u counsel. 98  Christina Maslach • Susan E. Jackson  MBI Human Services Survey T h e p u r p o s e of t h i s s u r v e y is t o d i s c o v e r h o w v a r i o u s p e r s o n s in t h e h u m a n services or helping p r o f e s s i o n s v i e w t h e i r j o b s a n d t h e p e o p l e w i t h w h o m t h e y w o r k closely. B e c a u s e p e r s o n s in a w i d e variety of o c c u p a t i o n s will a n s w e r this s u r v e y , it u s e s t h e t e r m recipients to refer to the people for w h o m you provide your service, care, t r e a t m e n t , or instruction. W h e n a n s w e r i n g this survey p l e a s e think of t h e s e people as recipients of t h e service y o u p r o v i d e , e v e n t h o u g h y o u m a y use a n o t h e r t e r m in y o u r work. O n the following p a g e t h e r e are 2 2 s t a t e m e n t s of j o b - r e l a t e d f e e l i n g s . P l e a s e read e a c h s t a t e m e n t carefully a n d d e c i d e if y o u e v e r feel this w a y about your job. If y o u h a v e never h a d this f e e l i n g , write a " 0 " (zero) before t h e s t a t e m e n t . If y o u have had this feeling, indicate how often y o u feel it by writing the n u m b e r (from 1 to 6) that best d e s c r i b e s how frequently y o u feel that w a y . A n e x a m p l e is s h o w n b e l o w .  Example:  HOW OFTEN:  HOW  0  1  2  3  4  5  6  Never  A few times a year or less  Once a month or less  A few times a month  Once a week  A few times a week  Every day  OFTEN  0-6  Statement: I feel depressed at work.  If y o u never feel d e p r e s s e d at w o r k , y o u w o u l d write t h e n u m b e r " 0 " (zero) u n d e r t h e h e a d i n g " H O W O F T E N . " If y o u rarely feel d e p r e s s e d at w o r k (a f e w t i m e s a y e a r or less), y o u w o u l d write t h e n u m b e r " 1 . " If y o u r feelings of d e p r e s s i o n are fairly frequent ( a f e w times a w e e k , but not daily) y o u w o u l d write a " 5 . "  Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc. 3803 E. Bayshore Road • Palo Alto, CA 94303 Published by Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc. ("CPP"), 3 8 0 3 E. Bayshore R o a d , Palo Alto, California 94303.  MBI Human Services Survey® 1986 by Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc. This copyrighted publication is not offered for sale; it is for licensed use only, a n d then only by qualified professionals w h o s e qualifications a r e on file with a n d have b e e n accepted by CPP. C P P reserves all rights b e y o n d the limited s c o p e of this license, including, without limitation, all rights under U.S. a n d international copyright a n d trademark laws. No portion of this publication m a y b e r e p r o d u c e d , stored in a retrieval syst e m , or transmitted in any f o r m or media or by a n y m e a n s , electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of CPP. This copyrighted publication m a y not be resold, s u b l i c e n s e d , e x p o r t e d , redistributed, otherwise transferred, or u s e d in a n y m a n n e r by any party other t h a n t h e person or entity to w h o m it is licensed for use by C P P ; any violation of these restrictions m a y infringe C P P ' s copyright under 17 U.S.C.§106(3), a n d a n y s u c h violation shall automatically terminate any license to use this publication. Printed in the United States of A m e r i c a . 01 0 0 9 9 98 9 7 28 27 26 25 24  MBI Human Services Survey HOW OFTEN:  HOW OFTEN 0-6  0  i  2  3  4  5  6~~  Never  A few times a year or less  Once a month or less  A few times a month  Once a week  A few times a week  Every day  Statements:  1.  I feel emotionally d r a i n e d f r o m my work.  2.  I feel u s e d up at the e n d of t h e w o r k d a y .  3.  I feel fatigued w h e n I get up in the morning a n d have to face a n o t h e r d a y on the j o b .  4.  I can easily u n d e r s t a n d h o w my recipients feel about t h i n g s .  5.  I feel I treat s o m e recipients a s if they w e r e i m p e r s o n a l objects.  6.  W o r k i n g w i t h people all d a y is really a strain for me.  7.  I deal very effectively with t h e p r o b l e m s of m y recipients.  8.  I feel b u r n e d out from my w o r k .  9.  I feel I'm positively influencing other people's lives t h r o u g h my w o r k .  10. 11.  I've b e c o m e more callous t o w a r d people since I took this job. .  I worry that this job is h a r d e n i n g m e emotionally.  12.  I feel very energetic.  13.  I feel frustrated by my job.  14.  I feel I'm w o r k i n g too hard on m y job.  15. _ _ _ _ _  I don't really c a r e w h a t h a p p e n s to s o m e recipients.  16.  W o r k i n g with people directly puts too m u c h stress on me.  17.  I can easily create a relaxed a t m o s p h e r e w i t h my recipients.  18.  I feel exhilarated after w o r k i n g closely with my recipients.  19.  I have a c c o m p l i s h e d m a n y w o r t h w h i l e t h i n g s in this job.  20.  I feel like I'm at the e n d of m y rope.  21.  -  22.  In my w o r k , I d e a l with e m o t i o n a l p r o b l e m s very calmly. I feel recipients blame m e for s o m e of their p r o b l e m s .  (Administrative use only)  cat. EE:  cat. DP:  cat. PA: (OO  

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