Prediction of Job Satisfaction & Burnout on
Criminal Judges Based on Psycap
Sedigheh Samani1* and Seyyed Abolghasem Mehri Nejad2
1 Islamic Azad University, Iran
2 Alzahra University, Iran
Submission: May 01, 2018; Published: September 27, 2018
*Corresponding author: Sedigheh Samani, Master of Clinical Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Semnan, Iran.
How to cite this article: Sedigheh S, Seyyed A M N. Prediction of Job Satisfaction & Burnout on Criminal Judges Based on Psycap. Psychol Behav Sci Int J.
2018; 9(5): 555774. DOI: 10.19080/PBSIJ.2018.09.555774.
As a widely regarded positive psychology concept, psychological capital results in flexibility. Significance of the psychological capital is increased for those with difficult jobs, especially those dealing with customers engaged with serious psychosocial disorders. The present research is aimed at predicting job satisfaction and job burnout among Iranian criminal judges based on psychological capital. The present study was performed using a survey-correlational method. As a statistical sample, a total of 210 criminal judges from all Iranian provinces were selected via convenient sampling. Questionnaires collected from 23 judges were omitted from data analysis stage due to incompleteness. The questionnaires developed by Luthans, Spector, and Maslach were utilized to evaluate psychological capital, job satisfaction, and job burnout, respectively.
Considering the obtained data, all the psychological capital components were found to exhibit significant positive relationships with the job satisfaction among criminal judges (p<0.003). However, results of multivariate regression analysis for predicting job satisfaction showed that hope and self-efficacy were the most important factors when it came to the prediction of job satisfaction among criminal judges (p<0.001). In addition, hope alone was the most important inverse predictive factor for job burnout among criminal judges (p<0.001). It seems that paying attention to and enhancement of psychological capital among criminal judges serve as effective solutions for lowering their job burnout while improving their job satisfaction considering the judgment career-associated pressures and exhaustion. An increase in hope was found to be more effective than the other two components.
Judgment is a very difficult job, with its difficulty well demonstrated when it comes to judgment in criminal court. A criminal judge requires characteristics to be able to manage his/her stress and exhibit adequate efficiency regardless of all the ups and downs he/she may deal with from the time when the crime is committed to the final passage of sentence by the court. Among very important such characteristics, one may refer to psychological characteristics. Among other psychological characteristics, psychological capital refers to a set of characters and has been well regarded during the past decades.
According to Luthans, psychological capital is composed of four dimensions, namely resilience, hope, self-efficacy, and optimism . Each of these four dimensions describes positive psychological capacity, has validated measurement scale based on relevant theories and research works , is state-dependent, capable of growth, and significantly associated with functional consequences , contributes to the individual’s effort to change in stressful situations and prepare him/her for stepping in the
action phase . Creed et al.  urged that, these four resources synergize one another in an interconnected system and serve as a firm shield against pressure.
As a dimension of psychological capital, resilience refers to the ability to recover original or even reach a higher level of balance, which, in difficult situations, helps the individual behave more adaptively. Therefore, it should be emphasized that, a human’s principal need in the 21st century is to train “resilience”. A set of skills are required before resilience can be trained, and three components affect that, namely commitment, control, and challenging .
Regarding the resilience, Connor and Davidson stipulate that, resilience is not only the stability against damages or threatening obstacles, but also active and constructive participation in the surrounding environment . Given that any stressful event may impose an even more sever effect due to its cumulative nature, the resilience has been increasingly regarded in discussions on personal capability and stress, finding deeper applications in latest findings . Researchers have classified resilience at
three levels, namely personal resilience, family resilience, and
organizational resilience . In personal resilience, at shocking
moments, the individual effectively exhibits a positive and
adaptive behavior. Therefore, the resilience occurs upon facing
by a resident thread or unexpected and shocking event .
Hope is a measure of a person’s ability to reach his/he goal
and imagine a path toward the goal. Optimism refers to positive
causal evidences on which basis the individual can describe
positive and negative events and move towards positive results
. Self-efficacy is the confidence and belief in one’s self
power and capability for performing a task . When a person
believes in his/her self-efficacy, his/her decision on conducting
the work affects the required level of effort and hard-working
for accomplishing the responsibility . Job burnout refers
to negative alterations in attitude, spirit, and behavior against
job-related psychological pressures. Maslach and Jackson
presented the most common definition for job burnout: job
burnout is a psychological indicator of emotional exhaustion,
depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment .
Emotional exhaustion resembles psychological pressure,
inducing into the person a sense of being subjected to
pressurization and degradation of emotional resources .
Depersonalization is a negative and callous response to those
who usually receive a service from the person . Reduced
sense of accomplishment and success is a negative appraisal
of self in performing the task . According to Mazlak, job
burnout has acted as a cause behind quitting job, absence at
workplace, and low spirit as well as such disorders as physical
exhaustion, insomnia, family problems and marital issues .
This disorder is known to develop with time, and although it
is not a psychological disorder in nature, it may develop into a
psychological disability .
Paniz and Arenson refer to job burnout as exhaustion and
physical-psychological degradation syndrome, which develops
because of increased level of negative job attitudes and loss
of interest in colleagues . Various factors have found to
contribute to job burnout, including environmental, personal,
and organizational factors. The organizational factors include
management style, stringent working regulations, lack of job
security, and inadequate opportunities for career promotion
. Ebrat, Hugan and Jiang defined job burnout as a negative
response which develops by workplace . Some researchers
suggested that, excessive personal innovation in the carrier may
also end up with job burnout .
One of the factors affecting productivity of work force is job
satisfaction . High level of job satisfaction reflects favourable
organizational atmosphere . According to Hawkman and
Oldham, responsibility, outcome, knowledge of actual results of
work-related activities, and meaningfulness of the job are some
of the factors affecting job satisfaction . Job satisfaction
further depends on the one’s expectations of his/her job .
Job satisfaction is a key factor in achieving success in job and
enhances efficacy and self-satisfaction . Individuals who are
satisfied with their job are more likely to proceed with their job
Personnel with higher levels of job satisfaction exhibit better
physical health and mental abilities . Measured based on
the degree of adaptability to work conditions and psychosocial
characteristics, job satisfaction is an indication of career
performance of individuals . In addition, job satisfaction
is, indeed, one’s emotional attitude toward his/her job .
According to Spector (1997) , four groups of factors may
affect job satisfaction: organizational factors, environmental
factors, nature of the job, and personal factors .
Investigations show that, “immigration judges”, who are
dealing with more cases compared to other judges and are to
judge against painful and bitter stories of people’s life, are
usually faced by higher risks of stress and suffer from more
severe symptoms of secondary traumatic stress than that faced
by caregivers, prisoners, and medics working at busy hospitals
. In a research performed on causes of burnout among
Chinese judges and attorneys, requests for help and excessive
effort and job commitment were recognized as the key factors
contributing to job burnout. Furthermore, low social support
at workplace and direct communication with clients further
contributed to burnout of the judges . However, in this
research, the judges who enjoyed greater deals of psychological
capital were less engaged with job burnout.
The present research was performed following a surveycorrelational
methodology. In this study, prediction of job
burnout and job satisfaction based on psychological capital was
considered among criminal judges from all provinces of Iran.
Statistical population of the research was composed of all those
criminal judges in the country who were ready to participate
in the research. A total of 210 criminal judges were sampled,
but the data acquired from 23 judges was discarded from the
analysis due to incompleteness. The sample was selected via
convenient sampling method.
Designed by Luthans (2007) for professional environments,
this questionnaire has four dimensions, namely resilience,
hope, self-efficacy, and optimism. Reliability and validity of each
dimension have been frequently verified with a Cronbach’s alpha
of 0.85 . In Iran, Foroohar et al.  obtained a Cronbach’s
alpha of 0.87, while Nosrat-Abadi et al.  and Bahadori
Khosroshahi (2012) ended up with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.85.
Formal and content validities of the questionnaire have been
also verified . In the present research, a Cronbach’s alpha of
0.80 was obtained.
Spector (1985) designed this questionnaire and obtained
a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.80. In Iran, investigating reliability and
validity of this questionnaire, Javadian et al.  reported a
Cronbach’s alpha of 0.88. In the present research, Cronbach’s
alpha was found to be 0.91.
Developed by Maslach and Jackson (1981), this questionnaire
contains 22 questions evaluating three dimensions, namely
emotional burnout, depersonalization, and personal
accomplishment, based on Likert scale. Internal stability of
this questionnaire has been confirmed in several research
works. In Iran, the questionnaire was first translated by Filian
(1991). Internal reliability of the questionnaire, as measured by
Cronbach’s alpha, was found to be 0.90 and 0.79 for the sub-scales
of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, respectively .
To measure reliability of this questionnaire, Najafi correlated it
to the job satisfaction questionnaire developed by Smith, Kendal
and Haline and ended up with a correlation coefficient of 0.76
. In this project, the Cronbach’s alpha was found to be 0.88.
As can be seen in Table 1, on average, the individuals
participating in this research were 45.8±27.22-year-old, with
an average work experience of 20.2±7.13 years, all of whom
were men. According to the findings reported in Table 2, most
of the studied judges had master’s degrees. As can be observed
in Table 3, all components of psychological capital (self-efficacy
(0.336), hope (0.358), resilience (0.307), and optimism (0.178))
exhibited significant positive correlations to job satisfaction
among judges. Among others, the hope (0.358) and optimism
(0.178) exhibited the highest and lowest correlation coefficients
to job satisfaction, respectively.
According to Table 4, all components of psychological capital
(self-efficacy (-0.187), hope (-0.326), resilience (-0.252), and
optimism (-0.192)) exhibited significant negative (inverse)
correlation to job burnout among judges. Among others, the
resilience (-0.252) and optimism (-0.192) exhibited the highest
and lowest correlation coefficients to job burnout, respectively. To
measure the relationships between job satisfaction and burnout
among the criminal judges and components of psychological
capital, stepwise multivariate regression was used where each
of the components of psychological capital was considered as
predictive variable, with the job satisfaction and burnout being
considered as the variable to be predicted.
According to Table 5, among the components of psychological
capital among criminal judges, self-efficacy (p<0.001) and
hope (p<0.001) exhibit significant positive relationships to job
satisfaction, while p-values of other variables (p>0.05) indicate
insignificance of the corresponding relationships, so that
those were omitted from the analyses. Self-efficacy (estimated
coefficient: 1.315) and hope (estimated coefficient: 0.861)
exhibited direct and significant relationships with and could
predict job satisfaction among criminal judges.
A comparison among estimated standardized coefficients
showed that, the most significant factors for the job satisfaction
among criminal judges have been the hope (0.173) and selfefficacy
(0.283). Age and work experience were omitted from the model because of their large p-values (p>0.05). According to
Table 6, among the components of psychological capital among
criminal judges, hope (p<0.001) can predict job burnout, while
p-values of other variables (p>0.05) indicate insignificance
of their relationships, so that those were omitted from the
analyses. In the secondary model, however, compared to hope,
age indicated a p-value of p > 0.05, and thereby omitted from the
final model. In the final model, only hope indicated a significant
yet inverse effect on job burnout (-1.802).
Investigation of estimated standardized coefficients showed
that, job burnout is associated with only hope (0.011) and
resilience (0.033), via significant inverse (negative) associations.
To measure job burnout, the questionnaire developed by Maslach
was used with five-point Likert scales, so that an increase in
the points indicated increased burnout. Under favourable,
acceptable, severe, and critical conditions, average score of
burnouts was less than 1.5, 1.5-2.5, 2.5-3, and greater than 3.5,
respectively. The critical condition urges for immediate actions
and short-term to long-term measures.
Investigation of dimensions of job burnout based on
Table 7 shows that, even though the components of emotional
exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment
are apparently acceptable, but emotional exhaustion (2.41) and
personal accomplishment (2.19) fall within the range of notable
values while the depersonalization (1.69) is close to the desirable
range, urging for long-term actions. Emotional exhaustion is the
most important component in the Maslach model. Therefore,
it can be stipulated that, the main factors behind emotional
exhaustion are organizational and job-related issues and high
levels of job-related stress .
According to Maslach, when a person feels that his/
her function is not leading to any success, his/her personal
accomplishment decreases (i.e. perceptual success rather than
actual success) . In the three-component model presented
by Maslach, it is assumed that emotional exhaustion occurs
firstly, followed by depersonalization and finally reduced personal accomplishment . In the present research, however,
the depersonalization component was found to be desirable,
indicating good inter-personal relationships among the judges
The present research was aimed at predicting job satisfaction
and job burnout among Iranian criminal judges based on
psychological capital. Accordingly, hope (0.358) and self-efficacy
(0.336) could positively and significantly predict job satisfaction,
while hope (-0.326) and resilience (-0.252) could inversely and
significantly predict job burnout. In the research published by
Avey et al. , it was revealed that, optimism is directly and
significantly associated with job satisfaction; that is, individuals
enjoying greater deals of psychological capital tend to exhibit
deeper job involvement, thereby better accomplishing their
tasks. In the present research, however, no such association was
In a correlational research on resilience against psychological
pressures among Chinese workers, it was found that, resilience
has a positive and significant relationship with job satisfaction
. The relationship between self-efficacy and hope agrees
with the findings by Wolfc Hoy et al. (2008). Explaining this
relationship, it can be stipulated that, generating moods and
attitudes (Tiger, 1979) or expectations about future (Sherrer
and Cover, 2002), hope can make changes into individuals.
Hoping in future tends to enhance efficacy, accomplishment, and
capabilities while boosting the sense of responsibility in work.
In the research by Najafi and Foolad-Chang (2007), a significant
yet negative association was obtained between self-efficacy,
anxiety, and depression, which agrees with the results of Kim
(2003), Smith et al. (2002), Barlo et al. (2002), Andler (2001),
Bendura (1999), Rambo (1998), Schwarz and Fajse (1995), and
Kavanag and Baro (1985).
Individuals of higher self-efficacy tend to exhibit greater
deals of effort and hard-working, and such an attitude positively
affects hope . As of present, no research has been performed
on the relationship between self-efficacy and hope among judges,
however, considering the obtained data and explaining the
attained findings, it can be stipulated that, the judges who enjoy
larger deals of psychological capital tend to exhibit higher selfconfidence,
capabilities, creativity, organizational commitment,
job involvement, and personal and organizational life qualities.
Furthermore, self-efficacy and hope result in the generation
of fresh and positive attitudes toward self, others, and the
surrounding world. The self-efficacy-resulted belief in one’s
self abilities and skills contributes to higher deals of hope,
so that he/she is likely to adopt all his/her skills following a
positive approach while being further satisfied with his/her
job. Individuals with low self-efficacy and hope are susceptible
to difficult situations and events where their stress and anxiety
levels go excessively high, whereas high self-efficiency largely
contributes to the development of the ability to accomplish
tasks at better quality by making the individual committed to the
work, attenuating possible threats, and boosting adaptability.
Results of the present research indicated a significant inverse
(negative) relationship between hope and job burnout; even
though no research on this relationship among judges has been
reported yet, but findings of the research by Akbarzadeh, Panah-
Ali  on organizational commitment showed that, resilience
is predictive variable for job burnout. Moreover, Amini 
and Momeni et al.  investigated such a relationship among
nurses. Furthermore, in their research, Edward and Herzlisnki
 suggested that, resilient employees tend to be less engaged
with job burnout. Connor and Davidson and Hernandez 
further confirmed this finding. In a research published in 2011,
Cook investigated the role of resilience in trauma.
Indeed, resilient and tough individuals tend to dominate
over undesirable effects and physical and emotional exhaustion
resulted from job, thereby maintaining their psychological
health. Such individuals are inspired by a great sense of progress
and high levels of self-confidence. The research by Newman and
Young confirmed the inverse relationship between hope and job
burnout. Furthermore, Ekrami, Rezaei and Bayani confirmed
such association regarding educational burnout. Trying to
explain this subject, it should be noted that, the approach
followed to deal with job-related challenges affects job burnout,
and the more positive the individual’s attitude toward his/her
workspace and the more he/she can keep himself/herself away
from environmental stresses, the more he/she will be protected
against job burnout.
Based on the findings of this research, it can be concluded
that, direct and indirect programs for enhancing components
of psychological capital, particularly hope, self-efficacy, and
resilience, can enhance job satisfaction while reducing job
burnout among criminal judges in Iran. Finally, increased job
satisfaction and reduced job burnout contribute to enhanced
efficacy of criminal judges.