Science University Research Symposium (SURS)


Academic and Psychological Factors Associated with Academic Burnout in Emerging Adults

Publication Date



Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

SURS Faculty Advisor

Abigail Heller, PhD

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Academic burnout has a significant impact on psychological distress in students (e.g. anxiety, depression; Koutsimani et al., 2019). Loneliness and parental expectations have also been found to increase burnout among students (Luo et al., 2016; Stoliker & Lafreniere, 2015). Additionally, there is an inverse relationship between impostorism (i.e., feeling like a fraud; Leary et al., 2000) and self-efficacy (Clance & Imes, 1978), but this has not been studied in an academic context in a global sample. This study aimed to investigate academic burnout in emerging adults with a focus on related academic and psychological factors. We predicted that: a) academic self-efficacy would moderate the relationship between parental expectations and academic burnout, b) parental expectations would moderate the relationship between impostorism and academic self-efficacy, and c) burnout would predict anxiety and depression via loneliness as a mediator. Emerging adult college students (N = 85) filled out a survey on Qualtrics that measured demographics, parental expectations, impostorism, academic self-efficacy, loneliness, anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and academic burnout. Results indicated that parental expectations and academic self-efficacy did not significantly interact to predict academic burnout, b = -0.01, SE = 0.01, t(81) = -0.08, p = .937, 95% CI [-0.02, 0.02], sr2 < .001. Similarly, there was not a significant interaction between impostorism and parental expectations to predict academic self-efficacy, b = -0.01, SE = .01, t(81) = -1.17, p = .246, 95% CI [-0.02, 0.004], sr2 = .01, and the indirect effect of academic burnout on anxiety via loneliness was not significant, b = 0.86, boot SE = 0.77, 95% bootstrap CI [-0.63, 2.50]. However, the indirect effect of academic burnout on depression via loneliness was found to be significant, b = 1.41, boot SE = 0.62, 95% bootstrap CI [0.11, 2.58]. Burnout predicted higher loneliness, which then predicted higher levels of depression. Results pinpoint the need to mitigate the negative impact of academic burnout.

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