Work-related well-being of social workers: job demands and job and personal resources from an exploratory study

Author/s Enrichetta Gianneti, Alessio Tesi
Publishing Year 2016 Issue 2016/2 Language Italian
Pages 22 P. 5-26 File size 247 KB
DOI 10.3280/PDS2016-002001
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

The theme of work-related well-being has become a central topic inside the broader debate developed in Health Psychology literature. The study’s aim was to investigate the dimensions of work-related well-being among social workers. Twenty-one social workers from one social cooperative participated at three focus groups. The conversations were recorded and full transcribed. The content analysis was made with a qualitative approach (Losito, 2009) using both ex-ante and ex-post methods. From raw data were chosen the single units of analysis and then were generated categories related to work-related well-being of social workers. Social workers conceptualise "work-related well-being" as a state of pleasure associated with their own job. Also, the dimensions which contribute to social workers’ work-related well-being were coded within categories of job demands, job resources and personal resources following the conceptualization of job demands-resources model. From data arise the following job demands: poor communication, work-family conflict, bad relationship with users’ families, emotional demands, high psychological workload, low autonomy, poor salary, role confusion and lack of meaning of work. Among job resources arise: colleagues social support, participation, rewards, good management of human resources, pleasant working environments, high autonomy, safeguard of workers’ rights and free time. Emotional, communicative and interpersonal skills arise as personal resources. Job demands and job and personal resources can promote work-related well-being among social workers through specific motivational processes.

Keywords: Content analysis, job demands-resources model, social workers, work-related well-being.

  1. Acker G.M. (1999). The impact of clients’ mental illness on social workers’ job satisfaction and burnout. Health & Social Work, 24(2): 112-119. DOI: 10.1093/hsw/24.2.11
  2. Acker G.M. (2004). The effect of organizational conditions (role conflict, role ambiguity, opportunities for professional development, and social support) on job satisfaction and intention to leave among social workers in mental health care. Community Mental Health Journal, 40(1): 65-73.
  3. Aiello A., Deitinger P. e Nardella C. (2012). Il modello “Valutazione dei rischi psicosociali” (VARP): metodologia e strumenti per una nuova gestione sostenibile nelle micro e grandi aziende: dallo stress lavoro-correlato al mobbing [The evaluation of psychosocial risks” model: methodology and instruments for a new sustainable assessment in micro and macro organizations: from work-related stress to mobbing]. Milano: Franco Angeli.
  4. Avallone F. e Paplomatas A. (2005). Salute organizzativa [Organizational Health]. Milano: Raffaello Cortina.
  5. Bakker A.B. (2011). An evidence-based model of work engagement. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(4): 265-269. DOI: 10.1177/0963721411414534
  6. Bakker A.B. and Demerouti E. (2007). The job demands-resources model: State of the art. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22(3): 309-328. DOI: 10.1108/0268394071073311
  7. Bakker A.B., Demerouti E. and Sanz-Vergel A. I. (2014). Burnout and work engagement: The JD–R approach. Annu. Rev. Organ. Psychol. Organ. Behav., 1(1): 389-411. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-031413-09123
  8. Bakker A.B., Schaufeli W.B., Leiter M.P. and Taris T.W. (2008). Work engagement: An emerging concept in occupational health psychology. Work & Stress, 22(3): 187-200. DOI: 10.1080/0267837080239364
  9. Bar-On R. (1997). The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i): a test of emotional intelligence. Toronto, Canada: Multi-Health Systems.
  10. Bergnoli S., Nicoli M.A. e Scatolini E. (2005). Fra burnout ed empowerment: un’indagine sugli operatori delle cooperative sociali di Parma [Between Burnout and empowerment: a study on social cooperative operators of Parma]. Risorsa Uomo, 4: 493-509. DOI: 10.1400/6770
  11. Bradley J. and Sutherland V. (1995). Occupational stress in social services: A comparison of social workers and home help staff. British Journal of Social Work, 25(3): 313-331.
  12. Borzaga C. (2000). Qualità del lavoro e soddisfazione dei lavoratori nei servizi sociali: un’analisi comparata tra modelli di gestione [Quality of work and satisfaction of workers in social services: a comparative analysis between management models]. ISSAN Working Papers, 9: 1-34. Retrieved from:
  13. Brotheridge C.M. and Grandey A.A. (2002). Emotional labor and burnout: Comparing two perspectives of “people work”. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 60(1): 17-39. DOI: 10.1006/jvbe.2001.181
  14. Campos-Andrade C., Hernández-Fernaud E. and Lima M. L. (2013). A better physical environment in the workplace means higher well-being? A Study with Healthcare Professionals Psychology, 4(1): 89-110. DOI: 10.1174/217119713805088324
  15. Collings J.A. and Murray P.J. (1996). Predictors of stress amongst social workers: An empirical study. British Journal of Social Work, 26(3): 375-387.
  16. Cournoyer B. (2013). The social work skills workbook. Belmont: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.
  17. Csikszentmihalyi M. (1990). Flow. The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper and Row.
  18. De Carlo N.A. (2013). Prologo: le due facce della medaglia [Prologue: the two faces of the same medal]. In De Carlo N.A., Falco A. e Capozza D., editors, Stress, benessere organizzativo e performance [Stress, organizational well-being and performance]. Milano: Franco Angeli, pp. 23-24.
  19. Demerouti E., Bakker A.B., Nachreiner F. and Schaufeli W.B. (2001). The job demands-resources model of burnout. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(3): 499-512. DOI: 10.1037//0021-9010.86.3.49
  20. Di Nuovo S. e Zanchi S. (2008). Benessere lavorativo: Una ricerca sulla soddisfazione e le emozioni positive nella mansione [Work-related well-being: a study on satisfaction and positive emotions within job]. Giornale di Psicologia, 2(1-2): 7-17.
  21. Gangemi G. (2001). Analisi delle interviste mediante strutturazione ex-post. Un’esperienza didattica [Interviews analysis through ex-post structuration. A didactics experience]. In: Tuzzi A., a cura di, Dall’intervista alla notizia [From interview to news]. Padova: Sapere.
  22. Gilbar O. (1998). Relationship between burnout and sense of coherence in health social workers. Social Work in Health Care, 26(3): 39-49.
  23. Goleman D.P. (1995). Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ for character, health and lifelong achievement. New York: Bantam Books.
  24. González-Romá V., Schaufeli W.B., Bakker A.B. and Lloret S. (2006). Burnout and work engagement: Independent factors or opposite poles?. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 68(1): 165-174. DOI: 10.1016/j.jvb.2005.01.00
  25. Hinkel H. and Allen J. (2013). Speaking Up and Working Harder: How Participation in Decision-making in Meetings Improves Overall Employee Engagement. Journal of Psychological Inquiry, 18(1): 7-16.
  26. Hobfoll S.E., Johnson R.J., Ennis N. and Jackson A.P. (2003). Resource loss, resource gain, and emotional outcomes among inner city women. Journal of personality and social psychology, 84(3): 632-643. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.84.3.63
  27. Huberman M. and Miles M.B. (2002). The qualitative researcher’s companion. Sage.
  28. Karasek R.A. (1979). Job demands, job decision latitude, and mental strain: Implications for job redesign. Administrative Science Quarterly: 285-308.
  29. Kim H. and Stoner M. (2008). Burnout and turnover intention among social workers: Effects of role stress, job autonomy and social support. Administration in Social Work, 32(3): 5-25. DOI: 10.1080/0364310080192235
  30. Kinman G. and Grant L. (2011). Exploring stress resilience in trainee social workers: The role of emotional and social competencies. British Journal of Social Work, 41(2): 261-275. DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcq08
  31. Krueger R.A. (2009). Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
  32. Lambert E.G., Pasupuleti S., Cluse-Tolar T., Jennings M. and Baker D. (2006). The impact of work-family conflict on social work and human service worker job satisfaction and organizational commitment: An exploratory study. Administration in Social Work, 30(3): 55-74. DOI: 10.1300/J147v30n03_0
  33. Losito G. (2009). L’analisi del contenuto nella ricerca sociale [The content analysis in social research]. Milano: Franco Angeli.
  34. Maslach C., Schaufeli W.B. and Leiter M.P. (2001). Job burnout. Annual review of psychology, 52(1): 397-422.
  35. Migliorini L. e Rania N. (2001). I focus group: uno strumento per la ricerca qualitativa [Focus group: an instrument for qualitative research]. Animazione sociale: 82-88.
  36. Millward L.J. (2000). Focus group. In: Breakwell G.M. e Hammond S., editors, Research Methods in Psychology, London: Sage, pp. 303-324.
  37. Morgan D.L., Krueger R.A. and King J.A. (1998). Moderating focus groups. Sage Publications, Inc.
  38. Padyab M., Richter J., Nygren L. and Ghazinour M. (2013). Burnout among social workers in Iran: Relations to individual characteristics and client violence. Global journal of health science, 5(4): 142-150. DOI: 10.5539/gjhs.v5n4p14
  39. Petrides K.V. and Furnham A. (2001). Trait emotional intelligence: Psychometric investigation with reference to established trait taxonomies. European Journal of Personality, 15: 425-448. DOI: 10.1002/per.41
  40. Pietrantoni L. e Zani B. (2004). Lavoro, burnout ed empowerment in operatori sociali sanitari [Work, burnout and empowerment in social workers]. Risorsa Uomo, 4: 425-443.
  41. Pope C., Ziebland S. and Mays N. (2000). Analysing qualitative data. British Medical Journal, 320: 114-116
  42. Rennie D.L., Phillips J.R. and Quartaro G.K. (1988). Grounded theory: A promising approach to conceptualization in psychology?. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 29(2): 139-150.
  43. Rosso B.D., Dekas K.H. and Wrzesniewski A. (2010). On the meaning of work: A theoretical integration and review. Research in Organizational Behavior, 30: 91-127. DOI: 10.1016/j.riob.2010.09.00
  44. Ruggeri F. (2013). Stato sociale, assistenza, cittadinanza. Sulla centralità del servizio sociale [Social state, assistance, citizenship. On centrality of social service]. Milano: Franco Angeli.
  45. Salovey P. and Mayer J.D. (1989). Emotional intelligence. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 9(3): 185-211. DOI: 10.2190/DUGG-P24E-52WK-6CD
  46. Schaufeli W.B. and Bakker A.B. (2004). UWES: Utrecht Work Engagement Scale. Preliminary Manual. Occupational Health Psychology Unit, University of Utrecht: Utrecht.
  47. Schaufeli W.B., Salanova M., González-Romá V. and Bakker A.B. (2002). The measurement of engagement and burnout: A two sample confirmatory factor analytic approach. Journal of Happiness Studies, 3(1): 71-92. DOI: 10.1023/A:101563093032
  48. Schaufeli W.B. and Taris T.W. (2014). A critical review of the Job Demands-Resources Model: Implications for improving work and health. In Bridging Occupational, Organizational and Public Health (pp. 43-68). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-5640-3_4
  49. Schein E.H. (1984). Coming to a new awareness of organizational culture. Sloan Management Review, 25(2): 3-16.
  50. Siegrist J. (2002). Effort-reward imbalance at work and health. In: Perrewe P.L. and Ganster D.C., editors, Historical and Current Perspectives on Stress and Health (Research in Occupational Stress and Well-being (pp. 261-291), Volume 2). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  51. Simbula S. e Benedetti E. (2013). La scuola tra passato e presente: come gli insegnanti fanno fronte alle richieste lavorative e si sentono engaged [School between past and present: how teachers cope with their job demands and stay engaged]. Psicologia della Salute, 2: 71-95. DOI: 10.3280/PDS2013-00200
  52. Smith C.P. (2000). Content analysis and narrative analysis. In Reis H.T. and Judd C.M., editors, Handbook of research methods in social and personality psychology (pp. 313-335). New York: Cambridge University Press.
  53. Stewart D.W. and Shamdasani P.N. (1990). Focus groups: theory and practice. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.
  54. Sverke M., Hellgren J. and Näswall K. (2002). No security: a meta-analysis and review of job insecurity and its consequences. Journal of occupational health psychology, 7(3): 242-264. DOI: 10.1037/1076-8998.7.3.24
  55. Tuzzi A. (2003). L’analisi del contenuto. Introduzione ai metodi e alle tecniche di ricerca [Content analysis: introduction to methods and research’s techniques]. Roma: Carocci.
  56. Velasco V., Miglioretti M., Celata C. e Vecchio L. (2013). Il benessere degli insegnanti: il ruolo del supporto sociale e delle dimensioni organizzative [Teachers’ well-being: the role of social support and organizational dimensions]. Psicologia della Salute, 2: 52-70. DOI: 10.3280/PDS2013-00200
  57. Warr P. (1990). The measurement of well‐being and other aspects of mental health. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 63(3): 193-210. DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-8325.1990.tb00521.
  58. Webb C. (1999). Analysing qualitative data: computerized and other approaches. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 29 (2): 323-330
  59. Winstanley S. and Hales L. (2014). A Preliminary Study of Burnout in Residential Social Workers Experiencing Workplace Aggression: Might It Be Cyclical?. British Journal of Social Work, 1: 24-33. DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcu03
  60. Yerkes R.M. and Dodson J.D. (1908). The relation of strength of stimulus to rapidity of habitformation. Journal of Comparative Neurology and Psychology, 18(5): 459-482.
  61. Zammuner V.L. (2003). I focus group [The focus group]. Bologna: Il Mulino.

  • The relationship between need for closure and compliance to harsh power tactics in high demanding jobs: A study conducted among firefighters and social workers Daniela Di Santo, Alessio Tesi, Antonio Aiello, Antonio Pierro, in Journal of Applied Social Psychology /2020 pp.599
    DOI: 10.1111/jasp.12698
  • Lavorare in centri per uomini violenti affrontandone l'invisibilità della violenza Fortuna Procentese, Immacolata Di Napoli, Caterina Arcidiacono, Marina Cerqua, in PSICOLOGIA DELLA SALUTE 3/2019 pp.123
    DOI: 10.3280/PDS2019-003007
  • A Dual Path Model of Work-Related Well-Being in Healthcare and Social Work Settings: The Interweaving Between Trait Emotional Intelligence, End-User Job Demands, Coworkers Related Job Resources, Burnout, and Work Engagement Alessio Tesi, in Frontiers in Psychology 660035/2021
    DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.660035
  • Moving forward to social workers’ work engagement: Framing the regulatory modes and the job demands-resources model Alessio Tesi, in Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health /2021 pp.146
    DOI: 10.1080/15555240.2021.1931260
  • “Kept in Check”: Representations and Feelings of Social and Health Professionals Facing Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Immacolata Di Napoli, Stefania Carnevale, Ciro Esposito, Roberta Block, Caterina Arcidiacono, Fortuna Procentese, in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health /2020 pp.7910
    DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17217910

Enrichetta Gianneti, Alessio Tesi, Benessere lavorativo in operatori sociali: le richieste e le risorse lavorative e personali emerse da una indagine esplorativa in "PSICOLOGIA DELLA SALUTE" 2/2016, pp 5-26, DOI: 10.3280/PDS2016-002001