According to the Job-demands-resources model7, burnout results from an imbalance of job demands and job resources within work environments. Job demands are strains that harm one's physical, emotional, mental health, and job performance, while job resources mitigate the negative effect of job demands 5,6,7. Juvenile-serving officers are at a risk of burnout given their job demands, including challenging clients and large caseloads with minimal concurrent job resources, such as poor workplace support and limited funding 8,9. Therefore, we hypothesized the following: 1) There will be a positive and a significant relationship between job demands on burnout, 2) There will be a negative and significant main effect of workplace social support on burnout. 3) There will be a significant two-way interaction of job demand and workplace support on burnout.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 325 employees working in justice-serving institutions was conducted in 2021-2211. These justice-serving social service agencies are in Clinton County of rural upstate New York. Cronbach's alphas for the standardized measures were above the expected cut-off, and one measure was at (α =.72). Discriminant and construct validity was established using maximum likelihood estimation and varimax rotation. Aiken and West14 procedures were followed to test the moderation effect using the hierarchal moderated multiple regression analysis in SPSS 2512,13. No items cross-loaded on another factor above. Finally, no violations of ordinary least squared regression were noted in the model.
Findings: Support was found for three hypotheses. Significant negative main effect was found for job demands on burnout (β = 3.64, p < .05) and negative main effect of workplace support (β = -1.40, p < .05). The interaction effect of work demands and workplace support (β = -.200, p < .05) on burnout was significant. The two-way interaction reports a variance of 13.2% in the final model, which is relatively higher than a typical interaction effect.
Conclusion and Implications: Results demonstrate how organizational workplace support is critical in managing jobs demands and burnout amongst justice-servings officers within social work settings. Significantly, officers' highly supportive environment and organizational climate could mitigate the pressure of job demands in juvenile social service settings. Consistent with earlier, social service agencies' lack of organizational support is strongly associated with burnout.Although the moderating effect is small, this is one of the first few studies examining workplace support and jobs demands' effects on burnout amongst juvenile justice serving offices. Future research within social service agencies could examine the role of organizational support strategies focused on resiliency building and coping mechanisms.