Journal Article

Social Work Students: Stress, Support and Well-Being

Stewart Collins, Margaret Coffey and Lana Morris

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 3, pages 963-982
Published in print April 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online November 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcn148
Social Work Students: Stress, Support and Well-Being

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Summary

This appears to be the first piece of research in the UK to focus exclusively on stress, support and well-being of social work students. The findings of a postal questionnaire indicated no statistically significant differences related to gender, age, year of study or family commitments. Social work students enjoyed a high sense of personal accomplishment. They enjoyed their work with users. Students undertaking part-time work were subject to significantly more demands than other students. Important support was obtained from fellow students, course tutors and practice teachers, but significant numbers of students experienced problems with low self-esteem and emotional exhaustion. They would probably benefit from additional opportunities for mutual group support, individual tutorial support and stress management courses. Wider structural issues include the need for more adequate funding for students to reduce the need to undertake part-time employment. Findings from this study encourage a focus on intervention at different levels to reduce stress with individual students, groups of students, practice teachers, course staff and the institutional environment.

Keywords: Social work education; social work students; stress; support; well being

Journal Article.  7529 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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