The Measurement of Engagement and Burnout: A Two Sample Confirmatory Factor Analytic Approach

Schaufeli, Wilmar B.; Salanova, Marisa; González-romá, Vicente; Bakker, Arnold B.
March 2002
Journal of Happiness Studies;Mar2002, Vol. 3 Issue 1, p71
Academic Journal
This study examines the factorial structure of a new instrument to measure engagement, the hypothesized `opposite' of burnout in a sample of university students (N =314) and employees (N =619). In addition, the factorial structure of the Maslach-Burnout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS) is assessed and the relationship between engagement and burnout is examined. Simultaneous confirmatory factor analyses in both samples confirmed the original three-factor structure of the MBI-GS (exhaustion, cynicism, and professional efficacy) as well as the hypothesized three-factor structure of engagement (vigor, dedication, and absorption). Contrary to expectations, a model with two higher-order factors – ‘burnout’ and ‘engagement’ – did not show a superior fit to the data. Instead, our analyses revealed an alternative model with two latent factors including: (1) exhaustion and cynicism (‘core of burnout’); (2) all three engagement scales plus efficacy. Both latent factors are negatively related and share between 22% and 38% of their variances in both samples. Despite the fact that slightly different versions of the MBI-GS and the engagement questionnaire had to be used in both samples the results were remarkably similar across samples, which illustrates the robustness of our findings.


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