- We extend existing stressor-strain theoretical models by including intrinsic motivation as a mediator between well-established job stressors and burnout. Though the link between situational stressors and burnout is well established, little is known about mechanisms behind this relationship. With a sample of 284 self-employed individuals, we examined motivation as a mediator to explain why situational factors impact 3 dimensions of burnout: emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy. Motivation is an explanatory mechanism that drives human behavior and thought, and thus may have an impact on important well-being outcomes. As expected, intrinsic motivation was a full mediator for the effect of perceived fit on the inefficacy dimension of burnout. Unexpectedly, neither perceived fit nor motivation was related to the other 2 dimensions of burnout, and role ambiguity had only a direct effect on the inefficacy dimension; it was also unrelated to exhaustion and cynicism. We discuss implications of these findings for researchers as well as for practitioners.