Child and Youth Care Forum

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 335–352 | Cite as

An investigation of social support and burnout among residential counselors

  • Louis J. Kruger
  • Harvey I. Botman
  • Carol Goodenow


Maslach and Jackson's (1986) three dimensions of burnout, emotional exhaustion, lack of personal accomplishment and depersonalization, were investigated among 78 counselors at a short-term, residential treatment facility for emotionally disturbed children and adolescents. Two waves of data were collected so that possible changes in burnout over time could be assessed. Measures of co-worker support (team cohesion and perceived quality of friendships) were better predictors of burnout than supervisor support. High levels of co-worker support were consistently and positively related to greater personal accomplishment. Levels of personal accomplishment increased and emotional exhaustion decreased as staff accumulated more counseling experience. Women residential counselors experienced higher levels of emotional exhaustion than did their male counterparts. Initial levels of burnout were powerful predictors of later levels of burnout. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings for human services providers are discussed.


Social Support Service Provider Good Predictor Powerful Predictor Initial Level 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis J. Kruger
    • 1
  • Harvey I. Botman
    • 2
  • Carol Goodenow
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Counseling Psychology, Rehabilitation, and Special EducationNortheastern University and Wediko Children's ServicesBoston
  2. 2.Wediko Children's ServicesBostonUSA
  3. 3.Tufts UniversityUSA

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