Factors Related to Taiwanese University Students’ Engagement and Burnout: The Moderating Role of Perceived Competence

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Shu-Shen Shih


The period of university study is normally marked with many challenges. Academic burnout appears to have become more prevalent among university students. There is a shortage of studies on university students’ academic burnout in the non-Western setting. To address this shortage, the present study attempts to explore the moderating effects of Taiwanese university students’ perceived competence on the relationships of each component of self-compassion (i.e., self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness) with work engagement and academic burnout. Also, this study examines the interrelationships between the three components of students’ self-compassion, perceived competence, perfectionistic tendencies (i.e., perfectionistic strivings versus perfectionistic concerns), work engagement, and academic burnout. Five hundred and four Taiwanese undergraduate students completed a self-reported survey assessing the variables described above. The results of this study contribute to the literature in several ways. First, moderation analyses indicate that perceived competence play the moderating role in the relationships of the components of self-compassion with work engagement and academic burnout. Second, hierarchical regression analyses suggest that there exist differences in the relationships of each component of self-compassion with students’ work engagement and academic burnout. Finally, the findings from this study lend support to the two-factor model of perfectionism. Perfectionistic strivings positively predict work engagement, whereas perfectionistic concerns are positively associated with academic burnout. Implications for practices and future research are discussed.

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