Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Mental health personnel-Services for, Mental health personnel-Mental health, Mental health personnel-Job stress, Mental health personnel-Job satisfaction, Secondary traumatic stress, Direct care, Residential treatment, Compassion fatigue, Program supports, Burn out (Psychology)


This quasi-experimental study examines the impact of program supports in agency settings on levels of compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction among direct care staff members working in residential treatment settings, with consideration of demographics and personal characteristics inherent in the worker, by asking the following questions: Are there significant differences in levels of compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction depending on utilization of program supports among direct care staff members? Do variables of gender, ethnicity, income, education and training, previous work experience and length of time working in current position impact levels of compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction? This study utilizes the Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL), an existing and reliable instrument measuring compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue. The sample in this study consists of 8 direct care staff members currently employed among Bay Area residential treatment facilities serving adolescent populations. The low response rate could have been related to lack of time allotted to take the survey at work and lack of access to personal email and the skewed demographics towards a younger, non-African American population could have related to the electronic recruitment and participation via an online scale. There were no major findings of this study because the sample size is too small to infer meaning. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the findings and were 1. The compassion satisfaction levels ranged from average to high and the compassion fatigue levels ranged from average to low. 2. The majority of direct care staff members had access to and utilized program supports within their agency and perceived the majority of program supports favorably. 3. Perceptions of income were identified as most disagreeable and time off allowed for within group comparison, where lower burnout scores were reported among some staff who felt they could take time off.




iii, 67 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 47-51)