Professional dissonance as a predictor of job dissatisfaction and psychological distress among social work professionals: a cumulative risk model

Chechak, Derek (2015) Professional dissonance as a predictor of job dissatisfaction and psychological distress among social work professionals: a cumulative risk model. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In this doctoral dissertation study, the concept of professional dissonance posits that job dissatisfaction and psychological distress can result from the cumulative effect of competing, often contradictory, work demands and role obligations. Social workers, as individuals, professionals, and members of the broader society can experience dissonance resulting from identity traits, value system conflicts, and extracurricular social roles. A conceptual model of professional dissonance is presented, demonstrating potential sources of dissonance across personal-professional, moral-ethical, organizational-structural, and historical-pedagogical domains as they apply to social work theory and practice. To explore this conceptual model, a mixed method but primarily quantitative study was undertaken with a random sample of 261 registered social workers in Ontario, Canada. The cumulative risk model was used as the study framework given its prior usage in the social services and suitability to the research question. In addition to univariate and bivariate analyses, a multivariate model was developed and tested as an explanatory framework for the observed relationships between variables. A negative linear relationship was demonstrated between professional dissonance and job satisfaction and job satisfaction and psychological distress, and a positive relationship was noted between professional dissonance and psychological distress. Informed by these findings, implications for social work practice, career choice, education, and regulation and leadership, as well as recommendations for future inquiry are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 8503
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 181-259).
Keywords: Professional dissonance, job satisfaction, psychological distress, social work, workplace wellness, cumulative risk
Department(s): Social Work, School of
Date: May 2015
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Social workers--Job stress; Social workers--Psychology; Social workers--Job satisfaction; Cognitive dissonance

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