Biographical, work, family, and social support variables related to burnout in County Extension agents in Georgia
Thomas, Leanna M
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Burnout in Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H County Extension agents was studied. Biographical, work, and family variables as well as social support were examined in relation to three aspects of burnout: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. Correlational analyses were conducted to determine relations between variables. Emotional exhaustion in this sample was comparable to other human service professionals. Depersonalization was exceptionally low and personal accomplishment exceptionally high, indicating low burnout. Burnout was related to being young in age, fewer years of experience on the job, nights spent away from home due to work-related travel, and low supervisor support. Co-worker support and general social support were related to high personal accomplishment. The results indicate that County Extension agents have demanding, but rewarding, jobs. Furthermore, agents, especially those who are young and who are new on the job, may benefit from intervention or training programs targeted at preventing burnout.