A proposed study of the relevant factors associated with caseworker burnout
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The purpose of this paper was to determine the relevant demographic and personality factors associated with burnout in caseworkers engaged in public social services agencies. Caseworkers engaged in social services work have long been identified as having increased risk for burnout, which has been known to have detrimental effects on the individual as well as the clients and the system that they serve. Demographic factors (i.e., age, years of service, level of education, departmental affiliation) and personality factors (adjustment, ambition, interpersonal sensitivity, role orientation, stress tolerance, and reliability) were examined for their relationship to burnout as measured by the three subscales (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment) of the Maslach Burnout Inventory – Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS). Results found that those caseworkers sampled were experiencing significantly higher burnout rates than those caseworkers sampled in the norming of the instrument, indicating a greatly elevated level of burnout within the sampled population. Correlations were found between caseworkers’ age and years of service as well as interpersonal sensitivity and perceived sense of personal accomplishment. However, no relationships were found between burnout and the other demographic (years of service, level of education, departmental affiliation) and personality variables (adjustment, ambition, role orientation, stress tolerance, and reliability) examined.