Sign Language Interpreters and Burnout

October 25, 2012


The process of burnout was explored within the interpreting population using social support and decision latitude as possible influential factors. A sample of 117 interpreters attending the 2009 biennial Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf national conference participated in the study. Demographic factors, occupational strain variables and levels of burnout were measured. A regression method of statistical analysis was used and decision latitude was found to be the strongest variable, which contributed modestly to emotional exhaustion, a component of burnout. Overall, this sample reported average levels of the three components of burnout, which include emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. Given these findings, it is suggested that the interpreter’s resources (controls or decision latitude) play a role in the work of sign language interpreters. Keywords: sign language interpreters, burnout, emotional exhaustion, occupational risks, decision latitude.

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Citation: Schwenke, Tomina CI and CT (2012) “Sign Language Interpreters and Burnout,” Journal of Interpretation: Vol. 20: Iss. 1, Article 7. Available at:


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