Compassion Satisfaction Among Social Work Practitioners: The Role of Work–Life Balance

Junghee Bae, Porter F. Jennings, Christi P. Hardeman, Eunhye Kim, Megan Lee, Tenesha Littleton, Sherinah Saasa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Previous research has established that social work practitioners are especially vulnerable to work-related psychological distress and burnout due to the high-stress nature of the profession, yet less research has focused on examining factors are associated with social worker retention. Emerging research on compassion satisfaction suggests that this factor could mitigate professional burnout, yet there is a gap in research focusing explicitly on examining compassion satisfaction among social workers. To address this gap in knowledge, this quantitative study collected survey data on practicing social workers who were alumni from a large southeastern university (n = 120) to examine individual and organizational factors associated with compassion satisfaction. Multiple regression analyses revealed that higher levels of emotional intelligence, perceived work autonomy, and perceived work–life balance were associated with an increase in compassion satisfaction among experienced, licensed social work practitioners. Findings have implications for how social work employers can promote compassion satisfaction through cultivating emotional intelligence among practitioners, allowing social workers autonomy in decision making, and providing supportive work environments. Recommended directions for future research include longitudinal studies with large sample sizes that expound research on compassion satisfaction by examining the role of additional factors, such as client population, job role characteristics, and supervisor support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

work-life-balance
social work
social worker
emotional intelligence
burnout
autonomy
alumni
work environment
longitudinal study
employer
profession
decision making
regression
university

Keywords

  • Social work practitioners
  • compassion satisfaction
  • emotional intelligence
  • work autonomy
  • work–life balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Compassion Satisfaction Among Social Work Practitioners : The Role of Work–Life Balance. / Bae, Junghee; Jennings, Porter F.; Hardeman, Christi P.; Kim, Eunhye; Lee, Megan; Littleton, Tenesha; Saasa, Sherinah.

In: Journal of Social Service Research, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bae, Junghee ; Jennings, Porter F. ; Hardeman, Christi P. ; Kim, Eunhye ; Lee, Megan ; Littleton, Tenesha ; Saasa, Sherinah. / Compassion Satisfaction Among Social Work Practitioners : The Role of Work–Life Balance. In: Journal of Social Service Research. 2019.
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