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Intellect Dev Disabil. 2012 Dec;50(6):479-85. doi: 10.1352/1934-9556-50.06.479.

Burnout among summer camp staff supporting people with intellectual disability and aggression.

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  • 1Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Dual Diagnosis Program, Toronto, Ontario Canada.


Studies have shown that there is an association between exposure to people with intellectual disability who are aggressive and burnout in the staff who support them. Little is known, however, about the experience of summer camp staff who work with this population. This study examined the relationship between aggression and burnout in 169 staff members working at summer camps in Ontario, Canada. The questionnaire used included demographic information, exposure to aggression (frequency and severity), and the Maslach Burnout Inventory--Human Services Survey. Results showed that summer camp staff was exposed to frequent and relatively severe aggression. Severe exposure was associated with higher levels of emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment. Given that summer camp staff is likely to be exposed to at least some aggression in their summer job, and that this aggression is associated with burnout, greater attention should be paid to training and supporting staff for when aggression occurs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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