Work engagement and job burnout within the disability support worker population

Vassos, Maria, Nankervis, Karen, Skerry, Trevor and Lante, Kerrie (2013) Work engagement and job burnout within the disability support worker population. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34 11: 3884-3895. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2013.08.005

Author Vassos, Maria
Nankervis, Karen
Skerry, Trevor
Lante, Kerrie
Title Work engagement and job burnout within the disability support worker population
Journal name Research in Developmental Disabilities   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0891-4222
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ridd.2013.08.005
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 34
Issue 11
Start page 3884
End page 3895
Total pages 12
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Subject 3204 Developmental and Educational Psychology
3203 Clinical Psychology
Abstract The aim of this study was to explore work engagement and job burnout within the disability support worker (DSW) population, using the job demands-resources (JD-R) model as a guiding theory. The research measured a set of work-related demands and resources related to working within the disability sector in order to assess which demands/resources account for a significant portion of unique variance when used to model DSW engagement and burnout. This study sampled 258 DSWs from across Australia who completed an online or paper questionnaire that included measures of engagement, burnout and the demands/resources of interest. With regard to demands, role ambiguity was significantly associated with the three engagement scores and the three burnout scores. It also accounted for the most unique variance in the three engagement scores (vigour [VI], dedication [DE] and absorption [AB]), and the personal accomplishment (PA) burnout score. With regard to resources, job feedback was significantly associated with two of the engagement scores (VI and DE) and all three burnout scores. It accounted for the most unique variance in VI and DE, and PA. In conclusion, this research adds to the existing disability workforce literature as it represents one of the first comprehensive investigations of work engagement within this population. Improved job descriptions, on-the-job feedback and the creation of specialist support workers are offered as recommendations to improve the psychosocial health of DSWs.
Keyword Burnout
Disability support workers
Work engagement
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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