Stress, Burnout and Engagement in Academic and Vocational School Adolescents

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Authors: Katja Rončević & Sandra Marinić

To cite this article: Rončević, K., Marinić, S. (2024) Stress, Burnout and Engagement in Academic and Vocational School Adolescents, Youth Voice Journal, ISSN (online): 2056-2969.



Purpose: To identify the level of stress, burnout and engagement faced by students in grades 1 – 4 within a single private secondary school, grouped by their success and gender.

Design: Online anonymous survey comprising Student Stress Scale, Maslach Burnout Inventory – Student Survey and Utrecht Work Engagement Scale – Student, was conducted during May – June 2023. Mean ±SD of each item was calculated. Mann-Whitney test determined statistical significance (p<0.05).

Findings: The sample consisted of 246 academic and 78 vocational trackers; 176 males and 148 females (mean age 16.71 ± 1.18 y). Academic demands (AD) and emotional exhaustion (EE) were major stress and burnout components respectively, but were not the mediator of success. AD was significantly higher in vocational students while no difference between trackers was observed in burnout and engagement components. The critical moment for the onset of burnout was the third grade. Vigor and absorption scores were subtle, regardless of success. Females were more dedicated and absorbing, experiencing more stress and EE.

Originality: Overall, transitions were not critical moments for the onset of burnout. The students who experienced stress related to AD demonstrated the highest levels of burnout. Governmental interventions related to curricula reviewing are needed to relieve the stress related to AD. Ensuring positive climate of school environment proved as important factor in counteracting the burnout. EE was revealed as the most striking foe to student’s well-being. The engagement seemed to be the skill yet developing in the middle adolescent group and was not the main driver of success.

Keywords: stress, burnout, engagement, school adolescents, Zagreb, Croatia.

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