Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Habib, Reza


Occupational burnout has many consequences for individuals and organizations. Previous research has identified gender differences in experiences of burnout. For instance, while women tend to feel burnout through exhaustion, men tend to feel burnout through cynicism, perhaps due to traditional gender roles (Houkes et al., 2011; Purvanova & Muros, 2010). Emotional labor, which contributes to burnout, may also explain gender differences in burnout, as women perform more emotional labor than men (Hochschild, 1983; Johnson & Spector, 2007; Simpson & Stroh, 2004). Work-family conflict and social support, and their interactions with gender, also impact the relationship between emotional labor and burnout (Grzywacz & Marks, 2000; Karatepe, 2010; Montgomery et al., 2006; Noor & Zainuddin, 2011; Thompson et al., 2005; Yaseen et al., 2020; Zhang et al., 2020). However, many models explaining these relationships are not comprehensive and have only been tested on samples of non-U.S. employees in specific occupations. The present research built on this previous work by exploring models of gendered burnout that included emotional labor, work-family conflict, and social support. United States residents employed full-time in a variety of occupations were recruited through CloudResearch Connect. Participants completed a survey measuring occupational burnout, emotional labor, work-family conflict, social support, and demographics. The data was split into halves for exploratory and confirmatory analyses. Exploratory analyses attempted to replicate previously identified models and test new ones. Exploratory analyses that partially or completely supported hypotheses or otherwise identified significant results were repeated in confirmatory analyses. Nine moderation and mediation models (i.e., 6 models derived from prior research and 3 new models) were examined along with gender differences on key variables. In both exploratory and confirmatory results, work-to-family conflict partially mediated the relationship between surface acting and exhaustion, the relationship between surface acting and cynicism, and the relationship between supervisor social support and burnout. However, little to no gender differences were found on key variables. Overall, emotional labor, work-family conflict, and unsupportive supervisors contributed to burnout in participants from a variety of occupations, regardless of their gender.




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