Factors associated with staff stress and work satisfaction in services for people with intellectual disability

Chris Hatton, E. Emerson, M. Rivers, H. Mason, L. Mason, R. Swarbrick, C. Kiernan, D. Reeves, A. Alborz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Staff stress and morale have been identified as major issues affecting the quality of services for people with intellectual disability. The present study investigates factors directly and indirectly associated with staff general distress, job strain and work satisfaction amongst staff in services for people with intellectual disability. As part of a large-scale survey of staff in services for people with intellectual disability, information was collected from 450 staff concerning general distress, job strain and work satisfaction, and a wide range of factors potentially associated with these outcomes. Path analyses revealed that three factors accounted for 28% of the variance in general distress scores: (1) wishful thinking, (2) stress linked to work-home conflict and (3) role ambiguity. Six factors accounted for 50% of the variance in job strain scores: (1) wishful thinking, (2) stress linked to a lack of staff support, (3) alienative commitment, (4) role ambiguity, (5) stressors linked to a low status job and (6) working longer contracted hours. Six factors accounted for 66% of the variance in work satisfaction scores: (1) stress linked to a low status job, (2) support from supervisors, (3) influence over work decisions, (4) alienative commitment, (5) support from colleagues and (6) older staff age. A range of factors indirectly associated with the three outcome measures was also identified. The models of general distress, job strain and work satisfaction empirically derived in the present study confirm and extend previous research in this area. The implications for organizations and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-267
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Staff
  • Stress
  • Work satisfaction

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