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More pain than gain: Effort–reward imbalance, burnout, and withdrawal intentions within a university student population

Williams, C.J., Dziurawiec, S. and Heritage, B.ORCID: 0000-0002-6437-7232 (2018) More pain than gain: Effort–reward imbalance, burnout, and withdrawal intentions within a university student population. Journal of Educational Psychology, 110 (3). pp. 378-394.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000212
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Abstract

Despite the widespread prevalence of psychological distress that affects many higher education students, existing student-stress research remains largely atheoretical. To address this gap, this paper applies Siegrist’s (1996) effort-reward imbalance model in a theoretical investigation of student stress. We surveyed Australian university students (N = 2,451) to identify whether discrepancies between efforts expended and rewards obtained influence student-distress outcomes (e.g., withdrawal/departure intentions). More than one-third of the students (37.5%) reported detrimental effort-reward imbalances, and these imbalances positively correlated with burnout and withdrawal intentions. Ultimately, burnout fully mediated the relationship between effort-reward imbalance and withdrawal intentions for both first-year and subsequent-year students. Unexpectedly, student resilience did not moderate these relationships. In light of these results, implications pertaining to the conceptualization and management of student distress and attrition are offered.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: American Psychological association
Copyright: (c) 2018 APA
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/40810
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