Measuring burnout in social work: factorial validity of the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey

Ann Doherty, J. Mallett, Michael Leiter, Paula Mc Fadden

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Abstract

Several studies challenge the three-dimensional structure of the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS), citing alternative measurement models including bifactor models. While bifactor models have merit, if data sampling violates assumptions of Stochastic Measurement Theory (SMT) the bifactor model requires modification prior to application. The present study compared five alternative MBI-HSS factor models using both Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling (ESEM). Data from a cross-sectional survey of United Kingdom (UK) social workers were examined (N = 1257), with validation analyses conducted in an independent sample (N = 162). Bifactor models, re-specified to account for SMT, provided good fit. However, improved fit was observed for a bifactor-ESEM specification, in both test (χ 2 = 1,112.93, df = 149, p <.001, CFI =.969, RMSEA =.072, 90% CI [.068,076]) and validation (χ 2 = 227.89, df = 149, p <.001, CFI =.978, RMSEA =.057, 90% CI [.042,072]) samples. The results confirm the MBI-HSS possesses a bifactor structure in UK social workers when SMT is considered, and that bifactor-ESEM may provide a better framework to examine MBI-HSS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-14
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
Volume37
Issue number1
Early online date13 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • MBI-HSS
  • bifactor
  • bifactor-ESEM
  • burnout
  • social work

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