By Maria Racadio, Psychology; Batya Y. Rubenstein, University of Cincinnati; Michelle L. Wojcik, University of Cincinnati
Advisor: Bonnie Fisher
Abstract: Burnout is a psychological phenomenon that develops because of repeated exposure to work-related stressors. Previous research has well-documented that emotional exhaustion, reduced personal efficacy, and cynicism are among burnout's negative consequences. Individuals in social service professions are at high risk for burnout, which can lead to decreased productivity and effectiveness at work, as well as mental and emotional strain. To examine on-the-job burnout experiences, interviews were conducted with 9 advocates from the Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team (DVERT), a first-of-its kind collaboration between Women Helping Women (WHW), a Cincinnati-based non-profit organization, and Cincinnati Police Department. Thematic analyses from the transcribed interviews identified sources and indicators of burnout, as well as individual and organizational protective factors. Advocates also provided suggestions for addressing burnout and work-related stress. Drawing from our findings, recommendations for WHW to improve advocate work satisfaction and optimize their ability to serve survivors of domestic violence are presented.