Methods. Using data from surveys with licensed social workers from 41 social service agencies in three metropolitan areas of South Korea (N = 316) conducted in 2018, the study examined indirect effects of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization on the relationship between job demand and turnover intention and between job resources and turnover intention separately. Two serial multiple mediation analyses were performed using the SPSS macro PROCESS (version 2.16.3), and the bootstrap method was used to test the statistical significance of total and specific indirect effects.
Results. Findings of indirect effects of job demands on turnover intention through emotional exhaustion and depersonalization indicated that emotional exhaustion was a significant mediator, whereas depersonalization was not. However, emotional exhaustion and depersonalization sequentially mediated the relationship between job demands and turnover intention. Findings of indirect effects of job resources on turnover intention through emotional exhaustion and depersonalization showed that both emotional and depersonalization were significant mediators. Emotional exhaustion and depersonalization sequentially mediated the relationship between job resource and turnover intention.
Conclusions and Implications. By identifying mechanisms through which job demands and resources affect turnover intention via emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, findings of the present study provide implications for promoting varied efforts to reduce burnout and turnover rate among social workers in South Korea.