Stark, Carrie Beth; Ph.D.
Program of Education
College of Human Development and Education; North Dakota State University
The Relationship Among Workload, Job Satisfaction, and Burnout of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals from Six Land-Grant Universities
Major Professor: Dr. Myron Eighmy
The purpose of this study was to determine what job responsibilities Extension 4-H youth development professionals (n = 241) chose to spend their work time doing and how the workload related to their job satisfaction and burnout. They were asked to rank order seven common, predetermined job responsibilities, based on the 4-H Professional, Research, Knowledge, and Competencies (4-H PRKC), and to identify their level of job satisfaction and burnout. The study utilized quantitative methods for gathering data from 4-H youth development Extension professionals from 6 land-grant universities.
Over the past 25 years, there has been an increase in research investigating burnout and job satisfaction. Burnout is a serious issue that can lead to decreased productivity for the employee and increased costs for the employer. Finding the connections among burnout, job satisfaction, and work environment is important to help reduce problems, including work overload. Based on the previous research on workload, burnout, and job satisfaction, 4-H youth development professionals are prime candidates for experiencing low job satisfaction and increased burnout, which may lead to professionals leaving the organization early.
To determine the workload, 4-H youth development professionals were asked to rank seven job responsibilities for each of the domains that are common to the youth development profession. The job responsibility that had the lowest mean of any from the six domains was #1 “using volunteer committees” in the volunteerism domain, with 71.9% of the respondents ranking it as one of the top two job responsibilities within the domain.
Determining job satisfaction related to the individual job responsibilities was the first measurement used in identifying the level of job satisfaction in the survey. The youth development domain’s job responsibility #6 “develop programs to practice life skills” provided the respondents the greatest degree of job satisfaction (M = 1.93, SD = 0.72) of any of the responsibilities with the six 4-H PRKC domains. The second instrument used to assess job satisfaction for 4-H youth development professionals was the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS), in which the mean score was 3.72 (SD = 0.79). The third and final measurement used to determine job satisfaction was the self-reported overall level of job satisfaction. The mean for the self-reported overall job satisfaction was 2.20 (SD = 0.83).
The greatest degree of burnout (M = 3.21, SD = 1.26) within any of the domains
was in the youth development domain with job responsibility #7 “dealing with conflict management.” This job responsibility also indicated a negative relationship between the workload rank score and job responsibility burnout (r = -0250). The overall mean for the Burnout survey was 3.84 (SD = 0.86). The greatest burnout came from the work within the youth development domain.
The 4-H youth development professionals reported feeling very little overall burnout related to their job. The overall self-reported mean for burnout was 2.75 (SD = 1.17). They also reported being satisfied with their current job (M = 2.20, SD = 0.83).