Examining Self-Care Among Individuals Employed in Social Work Capacities

Implications for the Profession

  • J. Jay Miller University of Kentucky
  • Joann Lianekhammy
  • Erlene Grise-Owens
Keywords: Self-Care, social work, wellness


Increasingly, the social work profession recognizes the need for more attention to self-care. Concomitantly, this growing awareness and ethical commitment is fostering a burgeoning self-care movement. However, despite recognition about the importance of self-care, there is a paucity of research that explicitly examines self-care practices among social workers. This cross-sectional study examined the self-care practices of individuals employed in social work capacities (n=1,011) in one southeastern state in the United States. Findings suggest that participants in the sample engaged in personal and professional self-care practices only moderately. Further, data suggest significant group differences in the practice of self-care, by relationship status, educational attainment, health status, and current financial situation, respectively. Overall, results indicate self-care as a potential area of improvement for participants in this study, in general, and perhaps for individuals employed in social work contexts, more generally.


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