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'I'm So Stressed!': A Longitudinal Model of Stress, Burnout and Engagement among Social Workers in Child Welfare Settings


, : 'I'm So Stressed!': A Longitudinal Model of Stress, Burnout and Engagement among Social Workers in Child Welfare Settings. British Journal of Social Work 46(4): 1076-1095

NlmCategory="UNASSIGNED">The well-documented day-to-day and long-term experiences of job stress and burnout among employees in child welfare organisations increasingly raise concerns among leaders, policy makers and scholars. Testing a theory-driven longitudinal model, this study seeks to advance understanding of the differential impact of job stressors (work-family conflict, role conflict and role ambiguity) and burnout (emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation) on employee disengagement (work withdrawal and exit-seeking behaviours). Data were collected at three six-month intervals from an availability sample of 362 front line social workers or social work supervisors who work in a large urban public child welfare organisation in the USA. The study's results yielded a good model fit (RMSEA = 0.06, CFI = 0.96, NFI = 0.94). Work-family conflict, role ambiguity and role conflict were found to impact work withdrawal and exit-seeking behaviours indirectly through burnout. The outcome variable, exit-seeking behaviours, was positively impacted by depersonalisation and work withdrawal at a statistically significant level. Overall, findings, at least in the US context, highlight the importance of further examining the development of job burnout among social workers and social work supervisors working in child welfare settings, as well as the utility of long-term administrative strategies to mitigate risks of burnout development and support engagement.

US$19.90

PMID: 27559215

DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bct205


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