Emotional intelligence in social work


The aim of this research project was to examine the relationship between Emotional Intelligence, stress, burnout and social work practice and also assess whether Emotional Intelligence training for social workers would reduce their burnout rates and improve their practice over time. The study design used a Randomised Control Trial over 12 months collecting quantitative data at 6 time points, two before the Emotional Intelligence Training and 4 after the Emotional Intelligence Training. Twenty-five percent of participants also took part in a qualitative interview. 207 Child and family social workers took part in the study from eight local authorities in the UK.This interdisciplinary project examines whether emotional intelligence helps professionals in emotionally demanding jobs such as social work to perform well and whether it helps them to manage their anxiety and stress. Emotional intelligence indicates how good someone is at understanding how emotions work, recognising emotions in themselves, recognising emotions in others, managing their own emotions and managing emotions in others. This project aims to assess the influence of Emotional Intelligence (EI) training for social workers in relation to burnout and performance using a randomised control trial. It also aims to produce a psychometric measure of social work performance created from the perspective of social workers, managers, service users and educators. The three year study has four phases: (1) a literature review and focus groups will identify items which tap into behavioural characteristics of social worker performance; (2) will validate a social work performance measure created from phase 1; (3) an emotional intelligence intervention will be designed using elements from existing EI programmes which show effects on outcomes; (4) a randomised control trial will evaluate an emotional intelligence training intervention for social workers and assess its effect on social work performance and stress.

This study used a Wait list Randomised control trial design allocating 207 child and family social workers to two groups:First training group and Later training group. We collected work context data (e.g. working hours, work contract, social work qualifications etc) and Psychological measures (e.g. stress, burnout). We also interviewed 25% (n53) of the sample about their emotional experience at work, where they found the support and how they managed their emotions at work.

DOI https://doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-852431
Metadata Access https://datacatalogue.cessda.eu/oai-pmh/v0/oai?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=oai_ddi25&identifier=96a6067d9357e9bfb9b658369e7720b71c680bfd85533f0eea0087f9b3f4ca02
Creator Biggart, L, University of East Anglia
Publisher UK Data Service
Publication Year 2016
Funding Reference Economic and Social Research Council
Rights Laura Paule Biggart, University of East Anglia; The Data Collection is available for download to users registered with the UK Data Service. All requests are subject to the permission of the data owner or his/her nominee. Please email the contact person for this data collections to request permission to access the data, explaining your reason for wanting access to do the data. Once permission is obtained, please forward this to the ReShare administrator.
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Numeric; Text
Discipline Psychology; Social and Behavioural Sciences
Spatial Coverage England; United Kingdom