Florin Lazar (University of Bucharest, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work/National College of Social Workers from Romania)


Topic: Social workers’ perceived stress and coping after the Covid-19 pandemic

Language: English 


Introduction: Social workers are regularly exposed to trauma and the risk of work-related stress and burnout. As a result, their mental wellbeing is negatively affected with possible negative consequences on their individual performances with clients (Lloyd et al, 2002). The aim of the current study was identify the factors associated with social workers’ perceived stress.

Methods: An online survey among registered social workers from Romania (N=344) was carried out in November 2022- January 2023. Validated measures of stress (Perceived Stress Questionnaire- PSQ), burnout (Copenhagen Burnout Inventory-CBI), coping (Brief-Cope Carver), resilience (Resilience Scale for Adults-RSA). professional quality of life (ProQoL) and mental wellbeing (Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale) were used. Multivariable linear regression tested the relationship between perceive ed stress and potential predictors.

Results: The model explained 75.5% of the variance of perceived stress. A higher score on perceived stress was positively associated with compassion fatigue, burnout (personal and work-related) and resilience (personal strengths and social competences sub-scales). Conversely, a negative association was found with mental well-being, emotion-focused coping skills, family- cohesion resilience and working area (higher stress in rural areas).

Conclusions: Due to high levels of stress experienced throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, social workers’ mental well-being, emotional life and family-cohesion are negatively affected, especially for those working in rural areas where there is a shortage of qualified personnel and higher workloads. Interventions to address social workers’ stress and burnout and strengthen their resilience and coping skills are needed in order to be better prepared for future stressors, as well as for their mental wellbeing.