Burnout and Turnover Intention Among Social Workers: Effects of Role Stress, Job Autonomy and Social Support

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This study examines the main and interactive effects of role stress, job autonomy, and social support in predicting burnout and turnover intention among social workers. This study included a subsample of 346 social workers identified from a cross-sectional random survey of 1,500 California state-registered social workers. Adjusted for age, gender, organizational tenure, and annual salary, structural equation analyses revealed that role stress had a positive direct effect on burnout. The variables of social support and job autonomy had a negative direct effect on turnover intention, but not on burnout. Results showed that job autonomy interacted with role stress in predicting burnout, while social support interacted with role stress in predicting turnover intention. Study results suggest that creating decentralized job conditions is essential for preventing burnout, and that building supportive job conditions is needed to retain social workers who are experiencing high role stress.

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