Self-Care Practices of Self-Identified Social Workers: Findings from a National Study

Jay J. Miller, Erlene Grise-Owens, Larry Owens, Nada Shalash, Molly Bode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Self-care can be an important tool in assuaging professional burnout, workplace stress, vicarious or secondary trauma, and other deleterious employment circumstances. Despite this importance, few studies have examined self-care among social work practitioners. This exploratory study examined the self-care practices of self-identified social workers (N = 2,934) throughout the United States. Primary data were collected with an electronic survey. Data indicate that social workers in the sample engage in moderate self-care practices. Analyses revealed group differences in self-care by several variables including geographic locale of participants' primary place of employment, race, educational level, and social work licensing status, among others. Significant predictors of self-care included perceived health status (self-report), education level, being a supervisor, and financial status. Overall, findings from this study indicate the need for a systemic response to improving self-care practices among social workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 National Association of Social Workers.


  • burnout
  • practitioner wellness
  • self-care
  • social work practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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