Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


This study was an inquiry into how clinical social workers remain enthusiastic about their work. A mixed-methods approach was used to survey 63 clinical social workers in the United States; the majority living in eastern Massachusetts. The sample was 75% female and 25% male, 90% Caucasian and 10% minority or undisclosed racial identity. Participants self reported their current enthusiasm level, what in particular fosters and interferes with that level, and what activities were frequent in their life. Additionally, the abridged form of the Job Descriptive Index and the Job In General survey was added to also assess job satisfaction. The majority of all the clinical social workers self reported to be high or moderately high in enthusiasm in their current work setting, but male and minority social workers reported a higher level of enthusiasm than female or Caucasian social workers. Those with the highest enthusiasm reported that an interest in their clients, professional development, and autonomy at work, in that order, contributed the most to their enthusiasm. This group regularly spent time with family, friends, and supportive colleagues. More than half of this group also read social work literature, which was not an activity found in any of the participants who were low or moderately low in enthusiasm. Exercise was the one commonality in those highly enthusiastic who were not enthusiastic people in general. Lastly, and not surprisingly, enthusiasm was positively correlated with job satisfaction.


Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass, 2008. iv, 75 p. Includes bibliographical references (p. 63-65)