Gender seemed to have most impact on the way burnout revealed itself, the study suggests. Male lecturers typically had higher depersonalisation scores, for example, while their female peers tended to suffer more emotional exhaustion.
This probably reflected, the authors suggest, the draining effect on women who were having to “juggle multiple roles at work and at home”, on the one hand, and their reluctance to adopt “a distant, indifferent professional persona” on the other.
The researchers also report that “staff exposure to high numbers of students, especially tuition of postgraduates, strongly predicts the experience of burnout”.
However, they suggest that lecturers with qualities that might make them particularly suited to the job suffered more than their less engaged colleagues. The quality of “openness” may “make (academics) appealing tutors, encouraging greater interaction with students”, but it also appeared to “predispose teachers to burnout”, the paper says.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.