Burnout in the lives of schoolchildren and students: causes, consequences and ways to overcome



The article is devoted to the review of foreign studies of the phenomenon of burnout of school, college and university students. For academic burnout, a three-component structure corresponding to the traditional one is shown: exhaustion, cynicism, and low perceived effectiveness. The article presents works that investigate the influence of social (the quality of relationships with peers, teachers and close relatives) and individual (emotional and personal profiles, empathic abilities, optimism, personal resources) on the development of burnout symptoms in cross-sectional and longitudinal research formats. We analyzed research data on the impact of burnout and learning stress on the quality of life, psychological well-being and academic success of schoolchildren and students. Approaches to preventing the development of burnout, based on the provisions of positive psychology and psychology of motivation, are considered.

General Information

Keywords: burnout, education, academic success, age-related characteristics

Journal rubric: Educational Psychology and Pedagogical Psychology

Article type: review article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/jmfp.2021100212

For citation: Ilyukhin A.G. Burnout in the lives of schoolchildren and students: causes, consequences and ways to overcome [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2021. Vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 117–127. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2021100212. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Osin E.N. Otchuzhdenie ot ucheby kak prediktor vygoraniya u studentov vuzov: rol' kharakteristik obrazovatel'noi sredy [Alienation from Study as a Predictor of Burnout in University Students: the Role of the Educational Environment Characteristics]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2015. Vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 57–74. DOI:10.17759/pse.2015200406 (In Russ.).
  2. Osin E.N. et al. Udovletvorenie bazovykh psikhologicheskikh potrebnostei kak istochnik trudovoi motivatsii i sub"ektivnogo blagopoluchiya u rossiiskikh sotrudnikov [Elektronnyi resurs] [Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction as a Source of Work Motivation and Subjective Well-being in Russian Employees]. Psikhologiya. Zhurnal Vysshei Shkoly Ekonomiki = Psychology. Journal of the Higher School of Economics, 2015. Vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 103–121. URL: https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/udovletvorenie-bazovyh-psihologicheskih-potrebnostey-kak-istochnik-trudovoy-motivatsii-i-subektivnogo-blagopoluchiya-u-rossiyskih (Accessed: 15.06.2021). (In Russ.).
  3. Robayo-Tamayo M. et al. Academic engagement: A diary study on the mediating role of academic support. Learning and Individual Differences, 2020. Vol. 80, article ID 101887, 12 p. DOI:10.1016/j.lindif.2020.101887
  4. Rimpelä A. et al. Academicwell-being and structural characteristics of peer networks in school. International journal of environmental research and public health, 2020. Vol. 17, no. 8, pp. 1–14. DOI:10.3390/ijerph17082848
  5. af Ursin P., Järvinen T., Pihlaja P. The Role of Academic Buoyancy and Social Support in Mediating Associations Between Academic Stress and School Engagement in Finnish Primary School Children. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 2020. Vol. 65, no. 4, pp. 661–675. DOI:10.1080/00313831.2020.1739135
  6. Bai Q., Liu S., Kishimoto T. School Incivility and Academic Burnout: The Mediating Role of Perceived Peer Support and the Moderating Role of Future Academic Self-Salience. Frontiers in psychology, 2020. Vol. 10, article ID 3016, 7 p. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.03016
  7. Bakker A.B., Demerouti E. The Job Demands-Resources model: State of the art. Journal of managerial psychology, 2007. Vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 309–328. DOI:10.1108/02683940710733115
  8. Schaufeli W.B. et al. Burnout and engagement in university students a cross-national study. Journal of cross-cultural psychology, 2002. Vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 464–481. DOI:10.1177/0022022102033005003
  9. Credé M., Tynan M.C., Harms P.D. Much ado about grit: A meta-analytic synthesis of the grit literature. Journal of Personality and social Psychology, 2017. Vol. 113, no. 3, pp. 492–511. DOI:10.1037/pspp0000102
  10. Deci E.L., Ryan R.M. The «what» and «why» of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological inquiry, 2000. Vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 227–268. DOI:10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_01
  11. Sorkkila M. et al. Development of School and Sport Burnout in Adolescent Student-Athletes: A Longitudinal Mixed-Methods Study. Journal of research on adolescence, 2020. Vol. 30, no. S1, pp. 115–133. DOI:10.1111/jora.12453
  12. Parviainen M. et al. Early Antecedents of School Burnout in Upper Secondary Education: A Five-year Longitudinal Study. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 2020. Vol. 50, pp. 231–245. DOI:10.1007/s10964-020-01331-w
  13. Sulea C. et al. Engagement, boredom, and burnout among students: Basic need satisfaction matters more than personality traits. Learning and Individual Differences, 2015. Vol. 42, no. 4, pp. 132–138. DOI:10.1016/j.lindif.2015.08.018
  14. Fredrickson B.L. The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American psychologist, 2001. Vol. 56, no. 3, pp. 218–226. DOI:10.1037/0003-066X.56.3.218
  15. Lebert-Charron A. et al. From stress to school burnout: Definition, determiners, evaluation and ways of prevention. Pratiques psychologiques, 2021. Vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 57–69. DOI:10.1016/j.prps.2019.02.002
  16. Duckworth A.L. et al. Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals. Journal of personality and social psychology, 2007. Vol. 92, no. 6, pp. 1087–1101. DOI:10.1037/0022-3514.92.6.1087
  17. Herrmann J., Koeppen K., Kessels U. Do girls take school too seriously? Investigating gender differences in school burnout from a self-worth perspective. Learning and Individual Differences, 2019. Vol. 69, pp. 150–161. DOI:10.1016/j.lindif.2018.11.011
  18. Farina E. et al. High School Student Burnout: Is Empathy a Protective or Risk Factor? Frontiers in Psychology, 2020. Vol. 11, article ID 897, 9 p. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00897
  19. Hoferichter F., Hirvonen R., Kiuru N. The development of school well-being in secondary school: High academic buoyancy and supportive class- and school climate as buffers. Learning and Instruction, 2021. Vol. 71, article ID 101377, 15 p. DOI:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2020.101377
  20. Lehto J.E., Kortesoja L., Partonen T. School burnout and sleep in Finnish secondary school students. Sleep Science, 2019. Vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 10–14. DOI:10.5935/1984-0063.20190051
  21. Madigan D.J., Curran T. Does Burnout Affect Academic Achievement? A Meta-Analysis of over 100,000 Students. Educational Psychology Review, 2021. Vol. 33, pp. 387–405. DOI:10.1007/s10648-020-09533-1
  22. May R.W., Bauer K.N., Fincham F.D. School burnout: Diminished academic and cognitive performance. Learning and Individual Differences, 2015. Vol. 42, pp. 126–131. DOI:10.1016/j.lindif.2015.07.015
  23. Moncla D., Walburg V., Milhaes A. Burnout chez des lycéens et tabagisme. L'Encéphale, 2014. Vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 423–424. DOI:10.1016/j.encep.2014.07.003
  24. Oller-Perret C., Walburg V. Impact of school-related burnout on alcohol consumption behavior among adolescents. Psychologie Française, 2018. Vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 319–326. DOI:10.1016/j.psfr.2017.06.002
  25. Ouweneel E., Blanc P.M.Le, Schaufeli W.B. Flourishing students: A longitudinal study on positive emotions, personal resources, and study engagement. The journal of positive psychology, 2011. Vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 142–153. DOI:10.1080/17439760.2011.558847
  26. Rautanen P. et al. Primary school students’ perceived social support in relation to study engagement. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 2020, 20 p. DOI:10.1007/s10212-020-00492-3
  27. Kim B. et al. Relationships between social support and student burnout: A meta-analytic approach. Stress and Health, 2018. Vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 127–134. DOI:10.1002/smi.2771
  28. Salmela-Aro K., Upadyaya K. School burnout and engagement in the context of demands-resources model. British journal of educational psychology, 2014. Vol. 84, no. 1, pp. 137–151. DOI:10.1111/bjep.12018
  29. Salmela-Aro K., Upadyaya K. School engagement and school burnout profiles during high school–The role of socio-emotional skills. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 2020. Vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 943–964. DOI:10.1080/17405629.2020.1785860
  30. Schaufeli W.B., Desart S., Witte H.De. Burnout assessment tool (Bat)—development, validity, and reliability. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2020. Vol. 17, no. 24, pp. 1–21. DOI:10.3390/ijerph17249495
  31. Salmela-Aro K. et al. School burnout inventory (SBI) reliability and validity. European journal of psychological assessment, 2009. Vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 48–57. DOI:10.1027/1015-5759.25.1.48
  32. Fiorilli C. et al. School burnout, depressive symptoms and engagement: Their combined effect on student achievement. International Journal of Educational Research, 2017. Vol. 84, pp. 1–12. DOI:10.1016/j.ijer.2017.04.001
  33. del Carmen Pérez-Fuentes M. et al. Student burnout and engagement: Relationship with adolescent use of alcohol and attitudes towards authority. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 2021. Vol. 21, no. 2, article ID 100225, 12 p. DOI:10.1016/j.ijchp.2021.100225
  34. Virtanen T.E. et al. Student engagement, truancy, and cynicism: A longitudinal study from primary school to upper secondary education. Learning and Individual Differences, 2021. Vol. 86, Article ID 101972, 9 p. DOI:10.1016/j.lindif.2021.101972
  35. Engels M.C. et al. Students’ academic and emotional adjustment during the transition from primary to secondary school: A cross-lagged study. Journal of school psychology, 2019. Vol. 76, pp. 140–158. DOI:10.1016/j.jsp.2019.07.012
  36. Romano L. et al. Students’ trait emotional intelligence and perceived teacher emotional support in preventing burnout: The moderating role of academic anxiety. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2020. Vol. 17, no. 13, pp. 1–15. DOI:10.3390/ijerph17134771
  37. Tang X., Upadyaya K., Salmela-Aro K. School burnout and psychosocial problems among adolescents: Grit as a resilience factor. Journal of Adolescence, 2021. Vol. 86, pp. 77–89. DOI:10.1016/j.adolescence.2020.12.002
  38. Teuber Z., Nussbeck F.W., Wild E. The Bright Side of Grit in Burnout-Prevention: Exploring Grit in the Context of Demands-Resources Model among Chinese High School Students. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 2021. Vol. 52, pp. 464–476. DOI:10.1007/s10578-020-01031-3
  39. Romano L. et al. The effect of students’ perception of teachers’ emotional support on school burnout dimensions: Longitudinal findings. International journal of environmental research and public health, 2021. Vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 1–7. DOI:10.3390/ijerph18041922
  40. The Handbook of Stress and Health. In Cooper C.L., Quick J.C. (eds.). Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2017. 728 p. DOI:10.1002/9781118993811
  41. Demerouti E. et al. The job demands-resources model of burnout. Journal of Applied psychology, 2001. Vol. 86, no. 3, pp. 499–512. DOI:10.1037/0021-9010.86.3.499
  42. Liu X. et al. The longitudinal relationship between sleep problems and school burnout in adolescents: A cross-lagged panel analysis. Journal of Adolescence, 2021. Vol. 88, pp. 14–24. DOI:10.1016/j.adolescence.2021.02.001
  43. Wang Y. et al. The Role of Active Coping in the Relationship Between Learning Burnout and Sleep Quality Among College Students in China. Frontiers in Psychology, 2020. Vol. 11, article ID 647. 9 p. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00647
  44. Tóth-Király I., Morin A.J.S., Salmela-Aro K. Reciprocal Associations between Burnout and Depression: An 8-Year Longitudinal Study. Applied Psychology, 2021. 37 p. DOI:10.1111/apps.12295
  45. Tuominen H., Juntunen H., Niemivirta M. Striving for Success but at What Cost? Subject-Specific Achievement Goal Orientation Profiles, Perceived Cost, and Academic Well-Being. Frontiers in psychology, 2020. Vol. 11, article ID 557445, 18 p. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.557445
  46. Walburg V. Burnout among high school students: A literature review. Children and Youth Services Review, 2014. Vol. 42, pp. 28–33. DOI:10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.03.020
  47. Fredricks J.A. et al. What Matters for Urban Adolescents’ Engagement and Disengagement in School: A Mixed-Methods Study. Journal of Adolescent Research, 2019. Vol. 34, no. 5, pp. 491–527. DOI:10.1177/0743558419830638
  48. Widlund A., Tuominen H., Korhonen J. Academic well-being, mathematics performance, and educational aspirations in lower secondary education: Changes within a school year. Frontiers in psychology, 2018. Vol. 9, Article ID 297, 20 p. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00297
  49. Yang H., Chen J. Learning Perfectionism and Learning Burnout in a Primary School Student Sample: A Test of a Learning-Stress Mediation Model. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 2016. Vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 345–353. DOI:10.1007/s10826-015-0213-8

Information About the Authors

Aleksander G. Ilyukhin, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of the Department of Social and Age Psychology, Derzhavin Tambov State University, Tambov, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2503-2706, e-mail: aexbear@gmail.com



Total: 1485
Previous month: 36
Current month: 22


Total: 2416
Previous month: 51
Current month: 10