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February 2023, Volume 73, Issue 2

Research Article

Self-efficacy and social support have relationship with academic burnout in college nursing students

Authors: Alfia Nuriil Firdausi  ( Department of Nursing, Airlangga University, East Java, Indonesia. )
Rizki I Fitryasari  ( Department of Nursing, Airlangga University, East Java, Indonesia. )
Dian Tristiana  ( Department of Nursing, Airlangga University, East Java, Indonesia. )
Rista Fauziningtyas  ( Department of Nursing, University of Malaya, Kuala Limpur, Malaysia. )
Deena Clare Thoma  ( Department of Nursing, University of Malaya, Kuala Limpur, Malaysia. )


Objective: To analyse the relationship of self-efficacy and social support with academic burnout of nursing students.


Method: The correlational, cross-sectional study was conducted in August 2021 at the Faculty of Nursing, Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia, and comprised nursing students in the 4th and 6th semesters of their academic programme. Data was collected using self-efficacy and social support questionnaires as well as the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey.


Results: Of the 184 subjects, 160(87%) were females and 24(13%) were males; 98(43.3%) were from the 4th semester and 86(46.7%) were from the 6th; 66(36.4%) were aged 20 years, followed by 65(35.9%) aged 21 years; and East Java was the hometown for 163(88.6%) students. Self-efficacy (p=0.005; r=-0.205) and social support (p=0.000; r=-0.265) were significantly associated with academic burnout.


Conclusion: Higher self-efficacy and social support levels may lead to lower academic burnout among nursing students.


Keywords: Self-efficacy, Burnout, Psychological, Social support, Nursing. (JPMA 73: S-63 [Suppl. 2]; 2023) 






Students at higher education levels  have academic demands with a higher intensity.1.Online learning makes students vulnerable to stress, such as difficulty adapting to the environment, no face-to-face meetings, lack of free time, and feeling anxious about making mistakes.2 Nursing students participating in direct clinical practice in hospitals were diverted to online learning for their safety during the active phase of the coronavirus disease-219 (COVID-19) epidemic.3,4.Excessive and continuous academic demands can trigger students to experience stress that may lead to academic burnout.5 Individuals who experience academic burnout will feel physically and mentally bored, lose interest in learning, and feel helpless and hopeless.6

According to a study, nursing students experienced burnout, 67% experienced moderate emotional exhaustion, 62% experienced mild cynicism and 56% experienced a moderate decrease in achievement.7 Burnout  in 100 nursing students in Brazil showed that it happened in the first year  in 11.1% cases, second year 37.5%, third year 33.3% and the fourth year 8.3%.8 Based on the previous study at the Faculty of Nursing in Surabaya, there are signs of academic burnout among  students; 32.5 % felt emotionally exhausted whereas 42.9% had a decrease in tasks achievement.9

Academic self-efficacy can be a predicting factor that affects academic burnout in students.10,11.Self-efficacy can affect the amount of effort made in dealing with obstacles and how stressful the situation is due to the demands of the situation.12,13 Environmental factor that contributes to academic burnout is social support.14,15 Social support can help students adapt to the various academic pressures they face so as to prevent the emergence of symptoms of academic burnout in them.16 Social support affects all activities carried out by students and is a key factor in the formation of perceptions of everything that is being carried out.17

The burnout syndrome theory suggests that academic burnout in students does not happen by itself, but there are personal and environmental causative factors.18 Among the personal factors, self-efficacy is an aspect of individual knowledge to improve personal abilities, like self-confidence, adaptability, cognitive capacity, intelligence and the capacity to act in stressful situations.19 Among the environmental factors, social support can make individuals think more positively about difficult situations in facing challenges, and make themselves aware that there are other people who care.20

The current study was planned to analyse the relationship of self-efficacy and social support with academic burnout among nursing students.


Subjects and Methods


The correlational, cross-sectional study was conducted in August 2021 at the Faculty of Nursing, Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia. After approval from the institutional ethics review committee, the sample size was calculated using the Slovin formula.21 The sample was raised using simple random sampling technique. Those included were nursing students of either gender in the 4th and 6th semesters of their academic programme, while the rest of the students were excluded. All who were included had signed the inform consent form before starting the research.

Data was collected using questionnaires. The self-efficacy questionnaire consisted of magnitude, strength and generality indicators.22 The social support questionnaire consisted of  emotional support, instrumental support, informational support and friendship support dimensions.23 The Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey (MBI-SS) questionnaire consisted of fatigue, depersonalisation, and decreased academic achievement indicators.24,25

Data was analysed using Spearman Rho-test. Self-efficacy and social support were the independent variables, while academic burnout was the dependent variable. P<0.05 was considered statistically significant.




Of the 184 subjects, 160(87%) were females and 24(13%) were males; 98(43.3%) were from the 4th semester and 86(46.7%) were from the 6th; 66(36.4%) were aged 20 years, followed by 65(35.9%) aged 21 years; and East Java was the hometown for 163(88.6%) students (Table 1).



Self-efficacy (p=0.005; r=-0.205) and social support (p=0.000; r=-0.265) were significantly associated with academic burnout (Tables 2-3).





The study showed there was a relationship between self-efficacy and academic burnout. Self-efficacy is significantly related to academic burnout and the two variables are negatively correlated.26 The importance of the role of students’ self-efficacy can increase their ability to master lecture material and to be able to control themselves from stressful situations. During the active phase of pandemic, the students needed high self-efficacy to be able to face the pressure and be able to adapt quickly to new elements, like online learning.27,28 The students had low self-efficacy characterised by feeling tired, tending to procrastinate, feeling bored at home, feeling bored with the learning process, being unable to meet other people, having limited internet quota, and being unable to apply laboratory practice learning due to the unavailability of relevant tools. This low self-efficacy can lead to academic burnout. Therefore, academic burnout experienced can be reduced by increasing self-efficacy. Self-efficacy can be increased in various ways, one of which is by giving self-affirmations which can encourage a person to view aspects that are more positively.29 Self-affirmation is also able to develop an optimistic mindset by looking at one’s abilities and potential and to reduce the tendency to continue to think about unpleasant situations so that it may foster a sense of self-confidence.30

There was also a relationship between social support and academic burnout in the current study. Social support is one of the factors that the students must have because it can help make it easier to adjust to their environment so they may not feel alone in facing problems or obstacles.31 Individuals receive support from other people in their lives and feel that others care, respect and love them. Social support can help one to survive and overcome pressures.1 The social support received by students affect the students in forming perceptions of everything they are going through.17

Social support has a role known as the buffering effect, which means that the effect of social support only arises when students are under high pressure;  if the pressure on individual is low, then the effect of social support is not very visible32. During the active phase of the pandemic, the frequency of meetings with other people, such as friends or relatives, was limited, making individuals feel less social support from those around them.1

Social support impacts students psychologically and emotionally, which is very important for students as it is related to self-confidence and motivation which are key to avoiding academic burnout.




Self-efficacy and social support had a significant relationship with academic burnout among nursing students.


Acknowledgment: We are grateful to all the participants, and to Faculty of Nursing, Universitas Airlangga, Indonesia.


Disclaimer: The text has been presented as an Abstract at the 13th International Nursing Conference 2022, held by the Faculty of Nursing, Universitas Airlangga, Indonesia.


Conflict of Interest: None.


Source of Funding: None.




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