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South African Journal of Agricultural Extension

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Job burnout and coping strategies among extension agents in south western Nigeria

OI Oladele

Abstract


The need to maintain a non-mineral dependent economy and daunting food import bills have been the drive for the provision of extension services, which is dependent on motivated extension work force.. Extension personnel will not stay motivated under circumstances where the risk of job burnout is high. A simple random technique was used to select 120 extension agents from 328. Data were collected with a structured
questionnaire (reliability coefficient of 0.85) and were analyzed with frequency counts, percentages one-way analysis of variance and multiple regressions. The result shows that 68% of the agents are males 85% married; 50% are above 40 years and 66% have at least a BSc degree. Burnout symptoms manifest mostly as depression (48%), insomnia (40%), headaches (43%), and weight loss (44%). Popular coping
strategies are keeping positive attitude at all times, setting self-realistic goals, and maintaining healthy relationship with co-workers. A significant difference exists in burnout symptoms experienced across the states (F = 5.71, df 3,117 p < 0.05). Significant determinants are age (t = 3.61), Number of children (t = 4.36), and coping strategy (t = -4.71).The study recommends that extension agents should be young, dynamic, maintain manageable family size and be exposed to different techniques to
cope with burnout symptoms.



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