Teuber, Z., & Nussbeck, F. W., Wild, E. (2019). School burnout among Chinese high school students: the role of teacher-student relationships and personal resources. Educational Psychology.
This study addresses the high level of academic demands and workload in Chinese high schools and aims to identify protective factors against students’ negative emotional responses. Using the well-established Job Demands-Resources Model as a guiding framework, we investigated the relationship between workload, perceived academic demands, teacher-student relationships, personal resources (self-efficacy, self-esteem, and optimism), and school burnout symptoms (emotional exhaustion and cynicism). Data analyses were based on self-reports from 1,083 Chinese students. The results of structural equation modelling showed that workload and academic demands were positively related to burnout. Among the resources, optimism was negatively related to emotional exhaustion and cynicism, whereas self-efficacy was only negatively related to cynicism. Surprisingly, self-esteem was positively related to cynicism after controlling for the other two personal resources. Our findings underline the potentially protective effect of students’ self-efficacy, dispositional optimism, and self-esteem (at least at the bivariate level) against school burnout.