The relation between personal demands and symptoms of depression and the mediating role of burnout among veterinary master student
Waveren, Y.C. van
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Many of the veterinary students feel exhausted and depressed (Kogan, McConnell & Schoenfeld-Tacher, 2005). Research from different parts of the world shows that the suicide rate among veterinarians is four times as high as in the general population (Batram, Yadegarfar & Baldwin, 2009). The aim of this study was to get a better understanding of the well-being of veterinary master students. This study focusses on the role of personal demands in relation to burnout and depression. Specifically, this research investigated the relation between personal demands and symptoms of depression and the mediating role of burnout. This study also investigated if the relation between personal demands and burnout differed between female and male veterinary master students. Four personal demands (perfectionism, afwulizing, need for control and neuroticism), two dimensions of burnout (emotional exhaustion and cynicism) and depression were measured with an online questionnaire ( N = 343). Results showed that burnout was positively related to symptoms of depression. Almost all personal demands were positively related to burnout with the exception of perfectionism, and awfulizing was only related to emotional exhaustion but not to cynicism. Personal demands were also positively related to symptoms of depression, with the exception of perfectionism. Additionally, the positive relation between personal demands and symptoms of depression was partially mediated by burnout, with the exception of the relation between perfectionism and symptoms of depression: this relation was not mediated by cynicism. Finally, no gender differences were found in the relation between personal demands and burnout. In conclusion, this study showed positive relations between personal demands, burnout and symptoms of depression and showed a mediating role of burnout.