Anxiety buffer functioning and burnout among nurses

Starting date
May 25, 2015
Duration (months)
Human Sciences
Managers or local contacts
Trifiletti Elena
Terror Management Theory, anxiety buffer functioning, burnout

According to Terror Management Theory (TMT; Greenberg et al., 1986) reminders of mortality and death concerns are an essential part of humans’ daily experience and typically awake paralyzing fear and anxiety. Two kinds of psychological defenses are effective in coping with those fears: proximal and distal defenses. The first are initiated when death concerns are in current focal attention and consist of attempts to remove death-related thoughts from consciousness. The second are activated when death-related thoughts are accessible, but outside conscious awareness. Distal defenses entail two psychological processes: faith in one's cultural worldview - which gives meaning to one's existence - and maintenance of self-esteem - which enables individuals to see themselves as valuable members of a meaningful reality. Recent research shows that individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are unable to activate distal defenses (Chatard et al., 2012; Kesebir et al., 2011). In line with these results, we assumed that the burnout syndrome may have the same impact. In a field research, we will ask participants to completed a questionnaire including: (a) mortality salience manipulation, (b) measure of burnout, (c) measures of self-esteem related (dependent) variables. Participants will be nurses. Nurses are daily exposed both to the risk of burnout and to mortality reminders, and thus constitute a perfect population for testing our hypotheses.

Project participants

Collaboratori esterni

Tom Pyszczynski
University of Colorado e (Comitato scientifico CRSP)
Research areas involved in the project
Formazione e organizzazioni
Psychology, Applied
Title Authors Year
Burnout Disrupts Anxiety Buffer Functioning Among Nurses: A Three-Way Interaction Model Trifiletti, Elena; Pedrazza, Monica; Berlanda, Sabrina; Pyszczynski, Tom 2017


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