Main and buffering effects of emotional support on job- and health- related strains: A national survey of Israeli social workers

N. El-Bassel, N. Guterman, D. Bargal, K. H. Su

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This study assesses the relationship between emotional support from co- workers and supervisors and work-related stress, strain and job satisfaction among a national random sample of Israeli social workers. The study examines the 'main' and 'buffering effects' hypotheses, using demographic characteristics and job situational factors as control variables. First, we hypothesized that the presence of emotional support from co-workers and supervisors would be negatively correlated with burnout and job-related strain and positively correlated with job satisfaction. Second, we hypothesized that emotional support from supervisors and co-workers would moderate the effects of stress on job- and health-related strains and job satisfaction. The results, as in most of the previous research on this issue, supported the 'main effect' hypothesis. Social workers who reported a high level of perceived emotional support from co-workers and supervisors reported less stress, depression, anxiety, and irritability, and fewer somatic complaints. The support of co-workers reduced emotional exhaustion and increased personal accomplishment. The relationship between stress and job- and health-related strain, however, was not moderated by social support, lending no support to the buffering hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalEmployee Assistance Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 24 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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