Psycho-social working conditions and stress in UK social workers

Ravalier, J.M (2018) 'Psycho-social working conditions and stress in UK social workers.' British Journal of Social Work, 49 (2). pp. 371-390. ISSN 0045-3102

10821.pdf - Accepted Version
Repository Terms Apply.

Download (786kB) | Preview
Official URL:


It is well documented that exposure to chronic negative working conditions leads to stress. This subsequently impacts sickness absence and attrition, making it a key consideration for policymakers and academics alike. This study therefore seeks to investigate the influence of psychosocial working conditions on stress and related outcomes: sickness presenteeism, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions in UK social workers (SWs). A cross-sectional survey was used, in addition to a single open-ended question designed to further investigate the sources of stress, to collect data from 1,333 registered SWs. Results demonstrate high levels of turnover intentions, presenteeism, and low job satisfaction. Regression analyses found that the interaction between high demands, low levels of control, and poor managerial support was related to SW stress and related outcomes. Qualitative content analysis of the open-ended question corroborated and extended these findings, also demonstrating that poor ergonomic set up of the work environment and a blame culture was adding to the experience of stress. Policy makers need to consider improvements in these working conditions or face losing a large proportion of the SW workforce. Future research needs to be both longitudinal and interventional to focus on these needed improvements.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: stress, presenteeism, turnover intentions, working conditions, job satisfaction
Divisions: School of Sciences
UoA: Psychology
Identification Number:
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2018 10:39
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:49
URI / Page ID:
Request a change to this item or report an issue Request a change to this item or report an issue
Update item (repository staff only) Update item (repository staff only)