The impact of psychological capital on well-being of social workers: A mixed-methods investigation

Chun Yip Henry HO, Ying Chuen CHAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social workers are often faced with long working hours, high job demands, and poor work–life balance, which can have detrimental effects on their well-being. It is therefore important to identify the protective factors that enable social workers to flourish and thrive. Psychological capital (PsyCap) is conceptualized as a higher-order core construct that encompasses hope, efficacy, resilience, and optimism. This study aims to investigate the impact of PsyCap on social workers’ well-being and explore the underlying mechanisms of this relationship. It expands the literature by adopting a multifaceted model of well-being, accounting for the temporal order of variables, including a qualitative component, and examining the effects of PsyCap in an at-risk occupation. A two-wave prospective survey with a three-month interval was conducted with a sample of 400 full-time social workers in Hong Kong, followed by individual in-depth interviews. The quantitative results showed that PsyCap was positively associated with job satisfaction and positive affect, and negatively associated with negative affect and psychological and physical distress. The qualitative results showed that the components of PsyCap share problem-focused processes with cognitive, conative, and affective functions. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed in relation to the social services industry. Copyright © 2022 National Association of Social Workers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228–238
JournalSocial Work
Volume67
Issue number3
Early online dateMay 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Citation

Ho, H. C. Y., & Chan, Y. C. (2022). The impact of psychological capital on well-being of social workers: A mixed-methods investigation. Social Work, 67(3), 228–238. doi: 10.1093/sw/swac020

Keywords

  • Affective well-being
  • Job satisfaction
  • Psychological capital
  • Psychological distress
  • Social workers

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