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Original Articles and Reviews

The Influence of Guilt on the Relationship Between Burnout and Depression

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Burnout is a serious problem that can be expressed as psychological symptoms, such as depressive mood. Earlier studies have shown that feelings of guilt appear to be involved in the burnout process. However, the exact nature of the relationships among burnout, guilt, and depression is unclear. The purpose of this study was to test the mediator role of guilt in the relationship between burnout and depression. The sample of this cross-sectional study consisted of 700 employees working with intellectually disabled persons. Hypotheses were tested together in a path model. Two models were constructed to test the relationships among the variables. The difference between the models was the order of the Guilt-Depression relationship. The Hypothesized model (i.e., Indolence → Guilt → Depression) showed an adequate fit to data, and all hypothesized relationships were significant. The fit of the Alternative model (i.e., Indolence → Depression → Guilt) was worse than the fit of the Hypothesized model. The hypothesized model offers a good representation of the relationships among burnout, guilt, and depression. The results point to recommending the incorporation of the evaluation of guilt as a symptom of burnout, in order to perform a more complete diagnosis and discriminate among subjects affected by burnout.