School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Frederick A. Volk


Burnout, Chronic Stress, Exhaustion, Sweden, Cross-Cultural, Moderated Mediations Design


Counseling | Counselor Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This dissertation begins with a background on the phenomenon of burnout. A review and examination of the literature on burnout in offered, including diagnoses, symptoms, and assessments; causes and antecedents; the related concepts of demands, motivation, and stress; prevention, intervention, and treatment; and cultural influences. Research on cross-cultural differences between Swedish and American cultures is addressed. The review concludes with a rationale, research questions, and hypotheses to guide this cross-cultural investigation of burnout in Sweden and the United States. Next, the research design is described and illustrated. This study examined how cultural dimensions, self-efficacy, and performance-based self-esteem moderate the relationships among demands and perceived stress, role conflict, and role ambiguity that result in burnout. Data were collected through surveys from 79 Swedish and 79 American participants. The questionnaires included demographic questions and eleven measures, which are described and evaluated. The data analysis approach, explained next, consisted of reliability testing; creation of composite variables; calculation of correlations, means, and standard deviations; and t-tests. A process macro model was used to test the moderated mediations that were hypothesized in the study. The statistical findings, which are discussed next, revealed that Americans have a higher level of self-efficacy, while Swedes have a higher level of performance-based self-esteem. Demands predicted burnout and the relationships between demands and perceived stress, role conflict, role ambiguity, self-efficacy and performance-based self-esteem, respectively, were significant; however, only perceived stress mediated the relationship between demands and burnout. None of the hypothesized moderations were significant. Finally, the results of the study are discussed and evaluated in light of previous burnout research. The validity and limitations of the research are addressed and recommendations for further research are offered.