Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research

2014 Edition
| Editors: Alex C. Michalos

Occupational Well-Being and Motivation of Those in the Helping Professions

  • Philip D. ParkerEmail author
  • Andrew J. Martin
  • Theresa Dicke
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_4219



Occupational well-being consists of two constructs on a continuum with  burnout at one end and engagement at the other (Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001). It is of particular relevance to research on helping professions such as teaching, nursing, social workers and the clergy (Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998).


This continuum perspective of occupational  well-being emerged from recent moves toward  positive psychology in the workplace (see Martin, 2004a, 2004b) and a dual focus within applied psychology on both workplace  distress and engagement (e.g., Schaufeli, Taris, & Rhenen, 2008). On one end of this continuum is  burnout, defined as a prolonged and occupational specific form of strain consisting of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization focused on recipients under the individual’s care, and feelings of a lack of personal accomplishment (Byrne, 1991). Engagement is also considered as a multidimensional construct...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip D. Parker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrew J. Martin
    • 2
  • Theresa Dicke
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Positive Psychology and EducationUniversity of Western SydneyPenrithAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of Education and Social WorkUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Instructional PsychologyFaculty of Educational Sciences University of Duisburg-Essen WeststadttürmeEssenGermany