Abstract: (see Poster Gallery) The Relationship between Client Violence, Workplace Violence Programs, and Social Worker Turnover: A Moderated Mediation Model (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

718P (see Poster Gallery) The Relationship between Client Violence, Workplace Violence Programs, and Social Worker Turnover: A Moderated Mediation Model

Sunday, January 15, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
HaeJung Kim, PhD, Associate Professor, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Joan Yoo, PhD, Professor, Seoul National University, Korea, Republic of (South)
Hyemee Kim, PhD, Professor, Incheon National University, Korea, Republic of (South)
Seung-hwan Oh, PhD, President, Korea Association of Social Workers, Korea, Republic of (South)
Social workers frequently deal with involuntary clients who have challenging and volatile issues such as domestic violence and substance use disorder. The nature of the profession places social workers at a higher risk of encountering client violence than any other profession. Although research on the prevalence and consequences of client violence toward social workers has been growing, few studies are based on a sound theoretical framework with nationally representative data. Moreover, there has been little empirical research on the role of organizational workplace violence policies in reducing the impact of client violence toward social workers. Based on Barling (1996) 's Workplace Violence Model, this study examined the relationship between client violence experience and turnover intentions among social workers in South Korea. Research questions for this study are as follows: 1) Is the relationship between the experience of client violence and turnover intentions mediated by the fear of future violence and burnout? 2) Do fear of future violence and burnout mediate the interaction between experiences of client violence and workplace violence programs on turnover intention?

A cross-sectional research design was used for this study. Data were collected in August 2021 through online surveys of 3,060 randomly selected social workers from 63,305 Korean social workers currently working in outpatient and residential facilities. The questionnaire included an experience of any types of direct client violence (e.g., physical, verbal, emotional, sexual) in the past 12 months, fear of future violence (Rogers & Kelloway, 1997), burnout (Maslach & Jackson, 1981), and turnover intentions (Kim, 1997). The extent of the implementation of workplace violence prevention programs is assessed as a summed score of the five-item workplace violence policy checklist. Age, gender, education, tenure, and stress due to the workloads were used as control variables. A serial mediation, moderation, and moderated mediation analyses were conducted using SPSS 26.0 and PROCESS macro v.4.0 (model 6 and model85).

The results show that about 62.9% (N=1924) of social workers reported that they had client violence experiences in the past year. The most frequently experienced forms of violence were verbal violence (N=1,459, 47.7%), followed by physical violence (N=943, 30.8%). Also, 57.4% (N=1,757) of respondents reported that the organization has written workplace violence prevention manuals, and 62% (N=1,894) reported that the organization regularly provides prevention education and training to workers. The total indirect effect was significant (B=.24, SE=.03, CI [.19,.30], and all three indirect effects were significant (experience of client violenceà fear of future violenceà turnover; experience of client violence à burnoutà turnover; experience of client violence à fear of future violenceà burnoutà turnover). The index of moderated mediation was significant for the indirect effect of workplace violence on turnover intention through fear of future violence (B= -.02, SE=.01, CI [-.02, -.01], indicating that if organizations have well-written manuals and implemented violence prevention programs, it would reduce individuals' fear of future violence, and consequently reduce burnout and turnover intentions. The study provides implications for managers and administrators in strengthening workplace violence programs to adequately address the impact of client violence on turnover.