To examine longitudinal reciprocal relationships between the psychosocial work environment and burnout.
We used two-wave cross-lagged panel models to estimate associations between a wide range of psychosocial work factors (ie, job demands, job control, job insecurity, coworker support, supervisor support, and organizational justice) and burnout in a broadly representative sample of the general working population in Canada (n = 453).
Bidirectional associations between the psychosocial work environment and burnout were observed. Results supported the causal predominance of psychosocial work factors over burnout. Higher job demands, lower job control, higher job insecurity, and lower organizational justice predicted burnout over time. Burnout only predicted lower supervisor support over time.
Our findings suggest that stress at work is better understood as a cause rather than a consequence of burnout in the general working population.