Date of Completion
burnout, child abuse, child welfare, forensic interviewers, job demands control (support) model, job satisfaction, organizational factors, social work
Waldo C. Klein, PhD
Eleanor Lyon, PhD
Vicki Magley, PhD
Field of Study
Doctor of Philosophy
Job satisfaction and burnout among social workers is well-documented in the literature, yet there is a paucity of research in this area pertaining to forensic interviewers. Forensic interviewers, specially trained professionals who conduct structured interviews with children who have made allegations regarding abuse, may be particularly vulnerable to burnout as a result of their work. A cross-sectional electronic survey design was used to gather information from 148 forensic interviewers associated with Children's Advocacy Centers (CAC) located in the Northeast region of the United States. While the quantitative and qualitative findings of this research indicate forensic interviewers are satisfied with their work, a substantial number are experiencing burnout. Control was found to have a positive relationship with job satisfaction. Having a flexible schedule, developing skills in supervision, and training junior forensic interviewers are ways interviewers are provided with control. Job satisfaction and support were both found to have inverse relationships with burnout. Flexibility, in addition to relationships with supervisors and coworkers, are ways organizations provided a supportive work environment. This study supports the effects of control and support in relation to job satisfaction and burnout, as suggested by the job-demands control (support) model. Given that social work was the most common field of study among participants, social workers affiliated with CACs are well-positioned to incorporate the findings of this study into practice to benefit forensic interviewers and the clients they serve. The suggested policy and practice implications will enhance organizational support, increase job satisfaction, and reduce burnout which will lead to a stronger workforce. Such implications impact children – and in the largest sense, society as a whole – as forensic interviewers will be more effective. Considering the growth of this specialized field of practice, the research will influence organizations to develop policies that mitigate the conditions associated with burnout among forensic interviewers.
Chiarelli-Helminiak, Christina M., "Job Satisfaction and Burnout among Forensic Interviewers" (2014). Doctoral Dissertations. 397.