Intervention for Burnout Among Chemistry Education

Intervention for Burnout


Academic burnout among students has generated a lot of attention recently, given the large pool of extant literature establishing its prevalence. Studies conducted in different parts of the world report prevalence rates of academic burnout between 7.2% and 70.6%. Burned-out students show high levels of exhaustion and a negative attitude toward school work. 

In Nigeria, studies have shown that most university students across different disciplines exhibit a high degree of burnout symptoms. In particular, it has been reported that the prevalence rate of academic burnout among Nigerian undergraduates is 68%. Undergraduates in chemistry education programs in Nigeria are at risk of burnout. 

In response to this unsatisfactory state of affairs, it is important to seek a means of combating this problem given the critical role of undergraduates in realizing the goals and objectives of chemistry education in Nigeria of producing skillful and competent chemistry teachers at the secondary school level who are knowledgeable in instructional design and delivery and capable of assuming leadership positions as well as pursuing further studies in chemistry.

Achieving the above goals and objectives of undergraduate chemistry education pro- grams may be impossible if students experience high levels of burnout as they will lack the physical and psychological drive to successfully cope with the demands of academic life. Albert Ellis put forth the theory of rational emotive behavior therapy REBT in 1955. Ellis assumed that people’s problems stem from illogical thoughts, views, and beliefs.

The goal of REBT is to combat unhealthy behaviors by seeking to refute and change those irrational thoughts, views, and beliefs that in turn generate such behaviors. To bring about this positive change, REBT utilizes a series of cognitive, behavioral, and emotive techniques. In the present study, we aimed to determine the effectiveness of REBT in managing burnout symptoms among chemistry undergraduates.


The researchers obtained the approval of the Research Ethics Committee at the Faculty of Education, the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, and the study was conducted in accordance with the stipulations of the Declaration of Helsinki. Research guidelines followed in conducting this study were as prescribed by the American Psychological Association. 

Individuals who participated in this research were informed of the study goals and procedures and they all gave their consent in writing to participate. To determine eligibility for possible inclusion in this study, we surveyed a total of 468 undergraduate students of chemistry, from the first to the final year of study. 

Of these, 245 (54.3%) students met the eligibility criteria for a high level of burnout, i.e., a total score of 49 and above on the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory for students (OLBI-S) at pre-test.


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