Social Support, Personality, and Burnout in Nurses Academic Article uri icon


  • This study sought to find evidence for: (a) a relationship between increased levels of work‐related social support and decreased burnout, (b) a relationship between personality traits and burnout, and (c) a significant interaction of social support and extraversion in relation to burnout. Seventy‐six staff nurses and their supervisors at a private medical hospital participated as subjects. Two subscales of the Work Environment Scale measured social support. Personality was measured using an instrument known as PROSCAN, and Scale H of the 16PF. Burnout was measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory. A strong negative correlation between work‐related social support and burnout was found. Also, nurses whose supervisors received positive‐feedback training showed significant reductions in emotional exhaustion, compared to those whose supervisors did not receive this training. Some dimensions of personality explained a significant amount of burnout. The study also provided further evidence of the interactive effect of social support and extraversion in relation to an emotional distress variable. That is, extraverted nurses required more work‐related peer support than did introverts to avoid emotional exhaustion. Suggestions for further research are given. Copyright © 1994, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

altmetric score

  • 3.45

author list (cited authors)

  • Eastburg, M. C., Williamson, M., Gorsuch, R., & Ridley, C.

citation count

  • 73

publication date

  • July 1994