Psychosocial working conditions and stress in UK social workers

Ravalier, J.M (2018) 'Psychosocial working conditions and stress in UK social workers.' British Journal of Social Work. bcy023. ISSN 0045-3102

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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: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2018 10:39
Last Modified: 22 May 2019 08:00
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