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Burnout among high school counsellors Hooper, James T.

Abstract

The psychological well-being of those who counsel adolescents is an important issue, but there has been little research on the topic. Burnout from job-related stress in the helping professions has been shown to influence negatively the professionals' job satisfaction and performance by eroding their benevolence and commitment. Three aspects of burnout — emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and impaired personal accomplishment — were measured in this study. The High School Counsellor Questionnaire, designed for this investigation, was mailed to 265 members of the British Columbia School Counsellors Association who were working in high schools. The return rate was 61.51%; the usable N was 157. The questionnaire measured the extent of counsellors' burnout and their perception of their own social support (from family, friends and others) and administrative support (defined as support from the principal). The questionnaire also gathered information on selected personal and job characteristics of the counsellor: age, gender, counselling experience, level of education, school size, and proportion of work time devoted to counselling. Burnout levels were shown 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 were significantly higher (t =4.26; p

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