Burnout among social workers working with immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia in Israel: Testing the connections between personal value preferences, immigrant appraisal and burnout

Eugene Tartakovsky, Sophie D. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Burnout among service providers working with vulnerable populations can lead to a deterioration in well-being, high turnover of workers and a decrease in levels of services. The current study proposes a new threat-benefit theory (TBT) as predicting experiences of burnout and personal accomplishment among social workers working with immigrants. Based on the theory of human values (Schwartz et al., 2012) and extending Integrative Threat Theory (Stephan & Stephan, 2000), TBT suggests that the local population perceives immigrants not only as threatening but also as beneficial for the receiving society and that this threat/benefit appraisal is related to personal values held by the individual. In a study carried out among 358 social workers in Israel, findings supported a conceptual model in which threat appraisal, toward immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and Ethiopia, predicted higher levels of burnout and benefit appraisal predicted greater feelings of personal accomplishment and lower levels of burnout. In addition, findings showed that (1) immigrant groups were appraised as both threats and benefits to the receiving society; (2) appraisal of threat was predicted by lower levels of values of universalism, benevolence, self-direction and higher levels of power, tradition and conformity; (3) appraisal of benefit was predicted by lower levels of values of self-direction and power (Ethiopian immigrants) and higher levels of conformity and tradition (FSU immigrants).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume53
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords

  • Attitudes toward immigrants
  • Burnout
  • Israel
  • Personal value preferences
  • Social workers
  • Threats-benefits theory (TBT)

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