Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

Personal attributes and characteristics are commonly implicated in burnout and coping. In particular, the personality trait neuroticism, described as a pervasive “disposition to experience negative emotional states that it has been repeatedly identified as a potential source of bias in symptom reporting on self-report surveys of well-being, stress and burnout (Patton and Goddard, 2006). Other authors have emphasised the influence of neuroticism on the experience of burnout rather than merely on self-report as a methodological nuisance. Individuals high in neurotic traits have been noted to perceive and interpret stressors more negatively and to subsequently display higher burnout than those low on the trait (Patton and, Goddard 2006). Negative affect is also thought to moderate the impact of stressors via inclinations to seek social support with high levels of negative affect found to predict low levels of social support. Associations between neuroticism and a number of coping strategies have also been cited across a range of employment areas (Fogarty et al., 1996). The influence of personality on coping and burnout must therefore be considered.

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