Professionalism and burnout among social workers: Implications for the field

Armen Gregory Kaladjian, Fordham University


This study examines the relationship between professionalism and burnout in the social work field. Social workers were surveyed to determine the nature of this relationship using Hall's (1968) multidimensional approach as modified and employed by Snizek (1972), to examine the construct of professionalism. Maslach and Jackson's (MBI, 1986) Human Services Survey was used to examine burnout. Other variables—type of work (clinical or not), worksite aspects (public vs. private) and others, are also examined in terms of how they relate to both professionalism and burnout. Years on the job, salary, worksite type and location are also considered. Comparisons within these variables are made. Findings suggest that there exists a partial relationship among these variables and that with respect to some of the professionalism and burnout dimensions, significance can be established. Although these connections will be described throughout the study, it is important to note that the dimensions of autonomy and organization as referent seem to take on particular importance in terms of relating to burnout. The relevance of this for the social work field in terms of educational, organizational, practice and other implications is discussed.

Subject Area

Social work|Occupational psychology

Recommended Citation

Kaladjian, Armen Gregory, "Professionalism and burnout among social workers: Implications for the field" (2003). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3081407.