Development and preliminary validation of the Maternal Burnout Scale (MBS) in a French sample of mothers: bifactorial structure, reliability, and validity

  • Raquel Sánchez-RodríguezEmail author
  • Stacey Callahan
  • Natalène Séjourné
Original Article


The study and evaluation of burnout in the context of parenthood have been of growing interest over the last years. The aim of this study is to develop and validate the Maternal Burnout Scale (MBS) to contribute knowledge of the assessment of parental burnout. Items were developed based on elements from an extensive literature review that defined the significant dimensions interesting to the parental context. These items were also examined by expert clinicians. The revised version was submitted for an exploratory testing on 673 French mothers (mean age 31.69 ± 5.52 years) having at least one child living at home (0–25 years); then, it was submitted for a confirmatory analysis of 1277 (mean age 32.67 ± 5.49 years) mothers having the same parental profile (child aged 0.1–24 years). The exploratory analysis suggests a three-factor structure that accounted for 51% of the variance: negative emotional-behavioral manifestations (25%), physical and emotional exhaustion (15%), and a sense of parental achievement (13%). The confirmatory analysis retained a bifactorial structure recognizing maternal burnout as a common factor as well as the three other factors. According to the established threshold scores, 6.6% (n = 84) of the mothers could experience clinical maternal burnout. Indeed, Maternal Burnout Scale (MBS) has shown good psychometric properties with a high internal consistency both for the general score and for subscales. Furthermore, the validity of the scale was also confirmed. The MBS appears to be an applicable and reliable tool to determine the presence and severity of burnout symptoms among mothers. As a conclusion, the prevalence of maternal burnout indicates the importance of studying this syndrome in order to establish measures of prevention and actions to be taken.


Maternal Burnout Scale Parental burnout Questionnaire validation Bifactorial structure Matrix polychorics 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee of Toulouse (CERNI) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Studies and Research in Psychopathology and Health PsychologyUniversity of ToulouseToulouseFrance

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