Differences between childrens social workers and adults social workers on sense of burnout, work conditions and organisational social support

Liat Hamama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research study aimed to examine the experience of burnout among 232 Israeli social workers (126 who were directly treating children and adolescents and 106 who were directly treating adults). Burnout was investigated in relation to social workers demographic characteristics, extrinsic and intrinsic work conditions, and social support at the workplace by colleagues, their direct supervisor and the head of their agency. Social workers of children did not report a higher experience of burnout than social workers of adults in Israel. Both groups indicated, on average, a moderate intensity of burnout. However, significant differences emerged between the two groups on perceived work conditions and on support from the agency head. That is, childrens social workers perceived better extrinsic work conditions than workers of adults, who reported better intrinsic working conditions. In addition, childrens social workers reported higher support from their agency heads than did workers serving adults. Burnout was significantly negatively correlated with age, professional experience, intrinsic and extrinsic work conditions, and social support from colleagues within the organisation and from the agency head. Professional experience and support from colleagues and from the agency head contributed significantly to explaining the variance in burnout intensity. Moreover, intrinsic work conditions mediated between professional experience and experience of burnout. Various explanations for these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1333-1353
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume42
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Keywords

  • Mental health
  • practitioners
  • social support

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