Method: We used the data from the Chinese Social Work Longitudinal Survey 2019 (CSWLS 2019), which is the first national-wide social worker survey in Mainland China. The analytic sample of this study consisted of 2254 social workers who answered “yes” when asked about “if your major work is about child welfare?”. The turnover intention was measured by an adapted Nissly and colleges’ turnover intention scale, three sources of workplace support (support from directors, support from coworkers, and support from leaders) were measured by Deeter-Schmelz and Ramsey’s workplace support scale, job autonomy was measured by Job Content Questionnaire, and job satisfaction was measured by a seven-item scale composed by the research team of CSWLS 2019. We used the Mplus for path model analysis on the mediation model.
Result: Our models supported the hypothesis of a partial mediation model with motivation (job autonomy) and turnover intention -- Job satisfaction partially mediated the relationship between job autonomy and turnover intention (b=-.096, p<.001, 95% CI [-0.118, -0.068]). When separating three sources of workplace support (support from directors, support from coworkers, and support from leaders), we found that only the indirect path where job satisfaction shows a mediation effect between support from leaders and turnover intention is significant (b=-0.014, p=.002, 95% CI [-.024,-.005]), while the paths from other two support sources are not significant. Furthermore, support from directors shows a significant direct effect on turnover intention without the mediation of job satisfaction. No significant effect between support from coworkers and turnover intention was found.
Conclusion: Our findings identify a different pattern of the partial mediation role of job satisfaction between organizational factors and turnover intention from the pattern in western countries. The mediation model confirmed the partial mediation role of job satisfaction between job autonomy and turnover intention but refused the partial mediation role of job satisfaction between workplace support and turnover intention except for support from leaders. The power of the leaders in the Chinses culture should be emphasized in intervention aiming at decreasing the turnover intention. Preventions and policies focusing on job satisfaction are warranted.