Assessing The “Millennial Self-Care Obsession” Among Social Workers: #NotSoMuch

J. Jay Miller, Erlene Grise-Owens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Summary: Despite the importance of self-care to social work practice, misnomers about the construct persist. One misperception is that millennials are overly focused on self-care and engage in high-levels of self-care, to the detriment of performing work duties. This study examined the self-care practices of social work practitioners (N = 3079) in the United States. Researcher investigated self-care practices across five domains: Professional Support, Professional Development, Life Support, Cognitive Awareness, and Daily Balance. Findings: Overall, data suggest that social workers in all generations engaged in moderate amounts of self-care. Analyses revealed that millennials engaged in significantly fewer self-care practices related to Professional Support and Daily Balance, when compared to Generation X and Baby-boomer participants. While not statistically significant, millennials scored lower across all other self-care domains. Applications: This is the first known study to explicitly investigate generational differences in self-care within any professional discipline. Within the next five years, millennials will make up nearly 75% of the world’s workforce. Findings from this research suggest the need to reshape prevailing anecdotes about self-care and millennials. Further, data offer insights to organizations looking to better support social workers of all generations in engaging in self-care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1399-1412
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Social Work
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • Social work
  • ageism
  • comparative studies
  • management
  • practitioner research
  • self

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing The “Millennial Self-Care Obsession” Among Social Workers: #NotSoMuch'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this