ERIC Number: ED226286
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug-26
Reference Count: 0
The Context for the Emergence of Burnout as a Social Problem.
Research and intervention on burnout have focused on the worker and the work setting. Since these factors are influenced by social, political and economic forces in society, alienation or burnout in the human services requires critical examination in a larger context, especially the history of the human services prior to 1976 when concern about job stress became popular. Events of the 1960's, specifically the establishment of social programs with unrealistic expectations for eradicating poverty or eliminating educational inequities, coupled with our society's cultural ambivalence about social welfare, contributed to the lack of resources, large caseloads and bureaucratic hassles that are common sources of burnout. The time involved in generating and coordinating required and often meaningless data is also a common cause of burnout in service providers. During the 1970's public concern shifted from social welfare to energy and economics. The decreased importance of human services reduced the availability of human service jobs, making lack of job mobility and burnout likely responses to job stress. Based on this analysis, two implications emerge for reducing burnout in the human services: to be effective, change efforts must be directed at social attitudes and political dynamics; and these efforts must be based on a valid analysis of the causes of the burnout problem. (MCF)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (90th, Washington, DC, August 23-27, 1982). For related document, see CG 016 478.