Sabbatical leave: who gains and how much?

J Appl Psychol. 2010 Sep;95(5):953-64. doi: 10.1037/a0020068.


A rigorous quasi-experiment tested the ameliorative effects of a sabbatical leave, a special case of respite from routine work. We hypothesized that (a) respite increases resource level and well-being and (b) individual differences and respite features moderate respite effects. A sample of 129 faculty members on sabbatical and 129 matched controls completed measures of resource gain, resource loss, and well-being before, during, and after the sabbatical. Among the sabbatees, resource loss declined and resource gain and well-being rose during the sabbatical. The comparison group showed no change. Moderation analysis revealed that those who reported higher respite self-efficacy and greater control, were more detached, had a more positive sabbatical experience, and spent their sabbatical outside their home country enjoyed more enhanced well-being than others.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control*
  • Career Mobility*
  • Education, Continuing / methods*
  • Education, Continuing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Faculty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand
  • Program Evaluation / methods
  • Program Evaluation / statistics & numerical data
  • Self Efficacy
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Workload