Adult attachment styles and their relationship to burnout: A preliminary, cross-cultural investigation

Ayala Malach Pines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


While many studies have addressed the relationship between adult attachment styles and stress, so far no studies have addressed the relationship between attachment styles and burnout, which is thought often to characterize highly motivated individuals. Based on a psychodynamic existential perspective it was predicted that adult attachment styles would correlate with burnout: that there would be a negative correlation between secure attachment style and burnout and a positive correlation between insecure attachment styles (avoidant or anxious/ambivalent) and burnout. A pilot study was conducted in a sample of Israeli MBA students (N = 41), nearly all of whom were in full-time employment. A further four studies were then conducted on Hungarian social studies students (N = 751), Israeli dialysis nurses (N = 216) and national samples of Israeli Jews (N = 511) and Arabs (N = 505). These studies supported this hypothesis. Finally, a follow-up study involving Israeli students (N = 160), who described the importance of various work features and their strategies for coping with burnout-causing situations, helps to explain the findings. These results have a theoretical and a practical implication: burnout research and intervention should include greater emphasis on personal factors in addition to contextual factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-80
Number of pages15
JournalWork and Stress
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Adult attachment styles
  • Burnout

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Adult attachment styles and their relationship to burnout: A preliminary, cross-cultural investigation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this