DOI: 10.1111/jar.13184 ISSN: 1360-2322

A model of hope as a protective measure to lower burnout and secondary traumatic stress among employees working in developmental and intellectual disabilities services

Christina R. Miller, Angela B. Pharris, Chan M. Hellman, Joshua Swann
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education



Burnout and secondary traumatic stress (STS) are problems for the workforce supporting people with developmental disabilities. This study investigated hope as a potential protective resource for burnout and STS among the developmental disability services workforce.


One hundred and fifty‐two non‐supervisor caseworkers from a state agency, developmental disabilities division were recruited to participate in an anonymous web‐based survey.


The analyses showed that hope was negatively associated with the three dimensions of STS (intrusion, avoidance, and arousal) and burnout. Controlling for tenure in the workforce and STS, the results of the hierarchical regression analyses showed that hope accounted for a significant incremental variance to burnout.


These findings provide support for emerging literature showing hope as a protective resource to workforce burnout.

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