Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 656–674 | Cite as

Clergy Motivation and Occupational Well-being: Exploring a Quadripolar Model and Its Role in Predicting Burnout and Engagement

Original paper


Clergy represent a salient group in Western communities, providing a variety of services aimed at supporting diverse members of those communities. Significantly, rates of attrition among clergy are high, suggesting the need to better understand their occupational well-being and factors relevant to it. The present study draws on the quadripolar need achievement framework to hypothesize motivational profiles among clergy and the extent to which these profiles predict occupational well-being, as indicated by low burnout and high engagement. K-means cluster analysis with 200 clergy confirmed a quadripolar motivational profile (success-oriented, overstriving, self-protecting, failure accepting). Using these group profiles as predictors, structural equation modeling identified significant effects on all burnout and engagement factors, with success-oriented, overstriving, self-protecting, and failure accepting groups each reflecting differential occupational well-being profiles. Substantive and applied implications of these findings are discussed.


Clergy Stress Burnout Motivation Well-being 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education and Social WorkUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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