When the job has lost its appeal: intentions to quit among direct care workers

J Intellect Dev Disabil. 2013 Jun;38(2):124-33.
Authors: Gray JA, Muramatsu N.

Background: Previous research indicates that work stress contributes to intentions to quit among direct care workers (DCWs) who provide services to people with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD). Though resources can help DCWs cope and remain in a job, little is known about how various dimensions of work stress and resources (social and personal resources) are associated with intentions to quit. Methods: A total of 323 DCWs from 5 community-based IDD organisations completed a self-administered survey. We conducted multiple regression analyses to examine main and interaction effects of work stress and resources (work social support and internal locus of control) on intentions to quit. Results: Work overload was a significant stressor, and work social support (i.e., supervisory support) was associated with low intentions to quit. The association between locus of control and intention to quit depended on the levels of a stressor: DCWs' lack of participation in decision-making. Conclusions: Supervisory support and an internal locus of control may assist DCWs in managing their stress.

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