The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between emotional labor and burnout, and whether the levels of self-efficacy and type A personality characteristics increase the risk of burnout in a sample of Korean female dental hygienists. Participants were 807 female dental hygienists with experience in performing customer service for one year or more in dental clinics, dental hospitals, or general hospitals in Korea. Data were collected using a structured self-administered questionnaire. A hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis was used to examine the effects of emotional labor on burnout, and to elucidate the additive effects of self-efficacy and type A personality on burnout. The results showed that "overload and conflict in customer service," "emotional disharmony and hurt," and "lack of a supportive and protective system in the organization" were positively associated with burnout. With reference to the relationship between personality traits and burnout, we found that personal traits such as self-efficacy and type A personality were significantly related to burnout, which confirmed the additive effects of self-efficacy and type A personality on burnout. These results indicate that engaging in excessive and prolonged emotional work in customer service roles is more likely to increase burnout. Additionally, an insufficient organizational supportive and protective system toward the negative consequences of emotional labor was found to accelerate burnout. The present findings also revealed that personality traits such as self-efficacy and type A personality are also important in understanding the relationship between emotional labor and burnout.
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