Methods: Data were collected from 179 home visitors working in the Healthy Families New York program, which provides home-based services to expectant and new mothers screened positive for potential child maltreatment. Three waves of mail-in surveys were conducted and the overall response rate was 90%. The outcome variable, feeling emotionally exhausted from work, is a subscale of the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Worker's personal trait was measured by emotional contagion from the Emotional Contagion scale (Dillard & Hunter, 1986). Workers perceived sense of control at work was adopted from the Pearlin and Schooler Mastery scale. A single question was used to rate the relationship with the supervisor from the Supervisory Support Questionnaire. Organizational climate was measured with two sub-scales of the Work Environment Scale: organizational efficiency and work pressure. Covariates included age, race, education, and survey year. Hierarchical Multiple Regression Analysis was performed to determine the relative importance of the three sets of variables, and three models were compared. In the first step covariates and personal trait variable, emotional contagion, was entered. In the second step, workers' perceived sense of control at work and the relationship with their supervisor were entered. Finally, the third step included the two organizational climate variables.
Results: In the first model, workers who were more likely to be affected by other people's moods (emotional contagion) was the strongest predictor for burnout (R2 = .13). The next model indicated that worker's sense of control at work as well as emotional contagion were strong predictors of burnout; the relationship with the supervisor failed to show significance. The R2 change (.134, p < .0001) was significant. The final model shows that adding two constructs of the organizational climate was significant (R2 change = .160, p < .0001). Worker's sense of control approached significance in this model (p=.071). The final model explained 42% of the variance in worker's feeling of emotional exhaustion.
Implications: Findings suggests that organizational climate greatly influences worker's sense of burnout. Two constructs of the organization climate are better predictors than emotional contagion or worker's relationship with supervisor. Worker perceived sense of control on the job is an important predictor for worker burnout but its effect was reduced by organization climate. The findings suggest that home visiting programs need to foster the organizational culture which values efficiency and provides workers a sense of control over their work.