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Adm Soc Work. 1995;19(1):15-31.

The effect of characteristics of human service workers on subsequent morale and turnover.

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School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.


The authors examine the relationship of sociopsychological characteristics of human services workers to their subsequent morale and continuance on the job. Eighty-two intensive case managers (half of them social workers) who had caseloads of clients with severe mental disorders were invited to participate in a four-wave panel study. Explored are the relationships between 16 predictors (general background, prior work experience and training, and social psychological variables) and worker outcomes (beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, and turnover). The major finding was that better personal well-being at the time of hiring was the most consistent and significant predictor of lower burnout, higher job satisfaction, and generally higher worker morale at later points in time. Those from higher social class backgrounds and those with lower starting salaries were more likely to leave the job. Those workers with more experience had a tendency to perceive greater client improvement.

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