2017 Volume 55 Issue 3 Pages 233-242
Burnout is associated with poor mental and physical functioning and high costs for societies. Personality attributes may critically increase the risk of personal burnout. We specifically examined whether narcissism associates with personal burnout in a working population. We studied n=1,461 employees (mean age 41.3 ± 9.4 yr, 52% men) drawn from a random sample of a pharmaceutical company in Germany. All participants completed the personal burnout subscale of the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory and the Narcissistic Personality Inventory to assess maladaptive (entitlement/exploitativeness) and adaptive (leadership/authority) narcissism. In linear regression analysis, when mutually adjusting for the maladaptive and adaptive narcissism scales, higher adaptive narcissism was associated with lower burnout scores (ß=-0.04, p<0.05), whereas higher maladaptive narcissism was associated with higher burnout scores (ß=0.04, p<0.05). Additionally, younger age (ß=-0.07), female gender (ß=0.11), depressive symptoms (ß=0.42), sleep problems (ß=0.30), stress at work (ß=0.23) and at home (ß=0.09) were all independently associated with increased burnout scores (all p-values<0.01). Narcissistic personality attributes may play an important role in personal burnout. While maladaptive narcissism was associated with increased levels of burnout symptoms, adaptive narcissism was associated with fewer burnout symptoms.