How do people make sense of their recovery from academic burnout during their undergraduate studies? An interpretative phenomenological inquiry into the experience of young adults

Visser, Annemarie (2019) How do people make sense of their recovery from academic burnout during their undergraduate studies? An interpretative phenomenological inquiry into the experience of young adults. Other thesis, Middlesex University / New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling.

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Abstract

Academic (student) burnout involves a rise in absenteeism, lack of motivation to meet coursework requirements and a higher student dropout rate. Its symptoms manifest on an emotional, social, cognitive and physical level. The aim of this study was to explore young people’s experience of recovering from burnout during their undergraduate studies, with the purpose of contributing to the very limited phenomenological research on both student burnout and recovery from student burnout. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight participants and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The analysis produced three superordinate themes. Firstly, Falling Behind, Falling Short captures the academic, social and personal challenges that promoted burnout. Secondly, Getting Stuck depicts burnout as a state of psychological distress that led to social withdrawal and disengagement from studies. Thirdly, Finding a Way Out Through Personal Growth presents recovery from burnout as a turning point marking the start of new attitudes and behaviours, followed by deepening self-understanding, cultivation of support and increasing self-regulation. For counselling psychologists, the research sheds light on the subjective and interpersonal dimensions of academic burnout, the different manifestations of student burnout and the role of personal growth in recovering from burnout. The study also points to the role of negative coping responses and negative attitudes to help-seeking in the development and perpetuation of burnout. Further research on academic burnout during university and pre-university education is called for. Phenomenological research exploring the student’s experience of learning, seeking support and coping with stress arising from the undergraduate environment is recommended.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC)
A. > School of Science and Technology
Item ID: 26499
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2019 08:01
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2019 09:32
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/26499

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