THE IMPACT OF HIGH AND LOW STRESS PERIODS ON THE INTENSITY OF BURNOUT CROSSOVER BETWEEN SPOUSES - A LONGITUDINAL STUDY
 
Etzion, D., Vinocour-Hai, V. and Westman , M., Tel Aviv University, Israel
 
The goal of the present study was to examine the influence of vacation from work on the crossover of burnout between spouses in order to determine whether level of stress influences the intensity of the crossover process. In the present study we assessed the crossover of burnout, before and after a vacation and in a regular work period, on 149 couples, while controlling for their job stress. The sample comprised administrative personnel at an academic institution in the center of Israel and their spouses. Participants were assessed on three separate occasions: first, at the end of the academic year; second, immediately after the 9-day Succot holiday vacation, and third, three weeks after their return from this vacation. The main hypothesis about crossover of burnout was confirmed. The results show a significant bi-directional crossover between spouses on all three occasions. They also strengthen earlier preliminary findings pertaining to changes in the intensity of the crossover with fluctuations in stress and burnout. The ameliorating effect of vacation on stress is demonstrated in that job stress was higher before the vacation than after it. No such effect was found for burnout. A number of explanations for these results are offered in the discussion, focusing, inter alia, on the limitations of the measurement tools.