Inequity among human service professionals: Measurement and relation to burnout

Dirk Van Dierendonck*, Wilmar B. Schaufeli, Bram P. Buunk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


This research investigated the impact on burnout of inequity experienced by human service professionals. Two studies were conducted, among therapists working with inmates in a forensic psychiatric center (N = 112) and among staff members of an institute for the direct care of mentally disabled (N = 189). Two types of inequity were examined: interpersonal inequity in the relations with recipients and inequity in relation with the organization. The majority of the professionals in both studies felt underbenefited in relation with recipients as well as in relation with their organization. As expected, inequity was curvilinearly related to burnout, especially with the emotional exhaustion dimension. Surprisingly, professionals who felt overbenefited experienced more burnout than colleagues who felt underbenefited. No gender effects were found for the distribution of inequity nor for the relation between inequity and burnout.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-451
Number of pages23
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1996


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