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Fear of Relationship Loss: Attachment Style as a Vulnerability Factor in Job Burnout



To investigate the correlation between attachment styles and various burnout risk groups (“relaxed”, “wornout”, “challenged” and “burnout”) and whether attachment styles suitably discriminate between individual burnout risk groups.


The study involved 2,320 participants (1,668 women and 652 men), who completed an adrenal burnout syndrome questionnaire, a performance-based self esteem scale, a work addiction risk test and a relationship questionnaire.


A one-way analysis of variance confirmed attachment style differences between burnout risk groups. The challenged and burnout groups differed from the relaxed and wornout groups by having a significantly lower secure attachment style score and a higher insecure (avoidant and preoccupied) attachment style score. The canonical discriminant analysis showed that the predictors (secure, preoccupied and avoidant attachment styles) can be used to appropriately classify 85.4% of respondents in the predicted burnout risk groups.


The study confirmed the hypothesis that two insecure attachment styles (i.e. avoidant and preoccupied) predominate in the challenged and burnout groups, and that a secure attachment style predominates in the relaxed and wornout groups. Burnout syndrome can thus be conceived as the result of excessive and compulsive efforts to retain a relationship that is perceived as insecure or to reduce (excessive) fear of losing this relationship.

Zeitrahmen der Veröffentlichung:
4 Hefte pro Jahr
Fachgebiete der Zeitschrift:
Medizin, Klinische Medizin, Hygiene- und Umweltmedizin