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Is emotional exhaustion only the result of work experience? A diary study on daily hassles and uplifts in different life domains.
U. Klusmann, K. Aldrup, J. Schmidt, O. Lüdtke

Is emotional exhaustion only the result of work experience? A diary study on daily hassles and uplifts in different life domains.

Anxiety, Stress, & Coping.

Emotional exhaustion is considered to be the key symptom of burnout. Although it has been defined that emotional exhaustion rather results from work-related experience than from other life domains, this has rarely been studied empirically. The study aimed to investigate the role of different life domains in predicting emotional exhaustion. More precisely, we examined whether daily uplifts and hassles from different life domains were related to emotional exhaustion beyond work-related uplifts and hassles. A diary study was conducted over the course of 14 consecutive days.141 beginning teachers provided information about their daily hassles and uplifts as well as their daily emotional exhaustion. Results of multilevel analyses showed that work-related uplifts were negatively and work-related hassles were positively related to emotional exhaustion. Additionally, private uplifts were associated with a statistically significant decrease and private hassles with an increase in emotional exhaustion beyond work-related events. Although the variance in emotional exhaustion that was explained by private events was small, the present study suggests that burnout symptoms might not be completely independent from individuals’ daily lives outside work.