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Basic Personal Values and Parental Burnout: A Brief Report

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Recent evidence has shown that Western parents are five times more vulnerable to developing parental burnout than parents in other parts of the world. It has also been found that this augmented susceptibility is explained by the group tendency of individualism cultural value that prevails in Western societies. Still, whether this relation observed at the group mean level across countries can be generalized to the association of personal value with parental burnout across individuals has not yet been explored. In order to address this question, the current study collected a sample of 643 Polish parents and assessed their report of value priorities and parental burnout. The results demonstrated that individual-level values indeed predict susceptibility to parental burnout. Specifically, parents are more susceptible to parental burnout when prioritizing values that emphasize power and achievement, whereas prioritizing benevolence protects parents from parental burnout. Associations between parents’ gender, personal values, and parental burnout were also examined. Consistent with previous studies, fathers reported fewer parental burnout symptoms compared to mothers. However, gender differences in parental burnout were not mediated by personal values, nor did parents’ gender moderate the effect of personal values on burnout. In sum, together with previous results obtained at the society level, our finding points out the role of values in predicting parental burnout. A possible future direction of research was discussed: examining the affective mechanism (e.g. parental regulation of emotions) underlying the relationship between personal values and parental burnout.

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Correspondence to Gao-Xian Lin.

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Funding Information

Gao-Xian Lin (G.-X.L.) was supported by a Coordinated Research Grant from the French Community of Belgium (ARC Grant n°19/24-100). This fund did not exert any influence or censorship of any kind on the present work.

Data Availability

The study reported in this article was not formally preregistered. However, the database of study variables and the supplementary material have been made available on a permanent third-party archive, Open Science Framework:

Ethical Approval

The study was carried out in accordance with the provisions of the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki. All study procedures were approved by the Ethics Committee of the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities Poland (WKE/S 2021/4/VI/103), by which human subjects’ protection is ensured.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Informed Consent

Informed consent to participate in the study was obtained from all individual participants.

Author Contribution

Both authors contributed equally to the paper; their names are in alphabetic order. Both authors also approved the final version of the manuscript for submission.

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Handling Editor: Alicia Grandey

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Lin, GX., Szczygieł, D. Basic Personal Values and Parental Burnout: A Brief Report. Affec Sci 3, 498–504 (2022).

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