Individual and Work-Related Predictors of Exhaustion in East and West Germany
Chronic exhaustion is a consequence of detrimental working conditions and demands, as well as inadequate coping techniques, potentially resulting in burnout. Previous research has studied occupational environment and individual factors as predictors of exhaustion. Although these differ between former East and West German states, the regional distinction regarding exhaustion has been neglected. To fill this gap, we used the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory in a representative German sample from 2014 to assess the burnout symptom exhaustion. Estimating ordinary least squares regressions, important burnout predictors were compared between the former East and West German states. Regional differences concerning occupational environments were related to the associations between individual factors, situational aspects of technostress and exhaustion. Associations between individual factors (e.g., female sex, lower working hours, age, partnership status, and household income) and exhaustion were stronger in East Germany, whereas technostress (strain of internet use, number of e-mails during leisure time, and social pressure to be constantly available) was more strongly associated with exhaustion in West Germany. Despite lower financial gratification and a higher social pressure to be constantly available in the East, West Germans were more afflicted by exhaustion. Individual factors and technostress should thus be considered when focusing on job-related mental health issues.
Keywords: exhaustion; technostress; burnout; information and communication technologies; East/West Germany