There may be an association between cognitive functioning and burnout, but this has previously been investigated in only few studies, all using clinical samples.
This study aimed at examining the relationship of cognitive functioning with burnout symptoms and social and occupational functioning in a population-based sample of young adults.
Neuropsychological tests assessing verbal and visual short-term memory, verbal long-term memory, general intelligence, attention, psychomotor processing speed and executive functioning were administered to a population-based sample of working young adults aged 22-35 years (n=225). Burnout was measured with the Maslach Burnout Survey-General Survey (MBI-GS) and social and occupational functioning with examiner-rated Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS).
Higher scores in the MBI-GS related to better performance in tests of verbal working memory and general intelligence. Lower SOFAS associated with poorer performance in tests assessing verbal attention, memory and learning.
In a representative population sample of young adults, self-reported symptoms of burnout are not associated with difficulties in cognitive functioning. However, examiner-rated lower social and occupational functioning is related to problems in verbal attention, memory and learning, suggesting the importance of evaluating and enhancing cognitive functioning among those with difficulties in social and occupational functioning.