THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MENTAL TOUGHNESS, STRESS, AND BURNOUT AMONG ADOLESCENTS: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY WITH SWISS VOCATIONAL STUDENTS

Markus Gerber, Anne Feldmeth, Christin Lang, Serge Brand, Catherine Elliot, Edith Holsboer-Trachsler, Uwe Pühse

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Past research has shown that higher stress is associated with increased burnout symptoms. The purpose of this study was to test whether mental toughness protects against symptoms of burnout and whether mental toughness moderates the relationship between perceived stress and burnout over time. Fiftyfour vocational students (M age = 18.1 yr., SD = 1.2; 27 males, 27 females) completed self-report questionnaires twice, 10 mo. apart. Perceived stress, mental toughness, and burnout were measured using the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire (ASQ), the Mental Toughness Questionnaire (MTQ), and the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Measure (SMBM). Students who perceived higher stress and lower mental toughness scores reported higher burnout symptoms. Although no significant interaction effects were found between stress and mental toughness in the prediction of burnout, the graphical inspection of the interactions indicated that among students with high stress, those with high mental toughness remained below the cutoff for mild burnout, whereas an increase in burnout symptoms was observable among peers with low mental toughness.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)703-723
    Number of pages21
    JournalPsychological Reports
    Volume117
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

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