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Title: Stress, depression, workplace and social supports and burnout in intellectual disability support staff
Contributor(s): Mutkins, Elizabeth (author); Brown, Rhonda  (author); Thorsteinsson, Einar B  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2011
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2011.01406.x
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Abstract: Background: Staff providing support to people with intellectual disabilities are exposed to stressful work environments which may put them at an increased risk of burnout. A small prior literature has examined predictors of burnout in disability support staff, but there is little consensus. In this study, we examined direct and indirect associations between work stressors (i.e. challenging client behaviour), staff emotional response to the behaviour (i.e. perceived stress, anxiety, depression), social and organisational support resources, and staff burnout. Methods: A short survey examined client behaviour, staff psychological stress, anxiety, depression, social support (number, satisfaction), organisational support and burnout in 80 disability support staff in a community setting. Results: Burnout levels were similar to or slightly lower than normed values for human services staff. Cross-sectional regression analyses indicated that depression symptoms and organisational support were related to worse emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation, whereas less social support was related to less personal accomplishment. Social support satisfaction (but not social support number or organisational support) moderated between high psychological stress to less emotional exhaustion. Conclusions: Taken together, these results suggest that depression symptoms and low organisational support were frequently concurrent with burnout symptoms. Furthermore, worker's personal and organisational supports may have helped bolster their sense of personal accomplishment, and buffered against the potential for emotional exhaustion.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 55(5), p. 500-510
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1365-2788
Field of Research (FOR): 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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