An assessment of the construct distinctiveness of stress arousal and burnout

Kenneth J. Smith, Jeanette A. Davy, George S. Everly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the construct and discriminant validity of stress arousal and burnout as measured on the Stress Arousal Scale and the multidimensional role-specific version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory, respectively. The analyses utilized data from 148 individuals randomly selected from a database of 563 respondents to a larger study. The sample responded to a survey sent to members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Sample size used in this study fell within Loehlin's 1992 prescription that for confirmatory factor analysis with two to four factors, a minimum of 100 to 200 cases should be collected. Forty-six respondents indicated that they were partners, principals, or sole practitioners in accounting firms, and 103 indicated that they were staff members (juniors, seniors, or managers). Latent variables were first constructed for the stress arousal and burnout factors. Confirmatory factor analysis was then conducted on the scale data to assess whether the factors would load on their respective underlying theoretical constructs. Finally, a nested model constraining stress arousal and burnout to load on one underlying construct was tested against the hypothesized two-factor model. The results indicated good model fit for the two-factor model and a significant loss of fit for the one-factor model, thus providing strong support for the conceptualization of stress arousal and burnout as distinct constructs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-406
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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