Productive Aging in the Social Work Profession: A Comparison of Licensed Workers 60 Years and Older with Their Younger Counterparts

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Abstract

This article reports the findings of an online survey in 13 U.S. states that compared the self-described demographics, wellness factors (mental health, physical health, and substance misuse), practice factors (fields of practice and work environment issues), and feelings about being a social worker (compassion satisfaction, workplace stress, being glad one chose social work and feeling valued as a professional in society) of 870 employed licensed social workers age 60 and older to 4076 licensed social workers under age 60. The results indicate that the older social workers were more likely to be male and white, less likely to report mental health problems, and more likely to work exclusively in private practice. Although older workers reported more serious physical health problems, they rated their physical health more favorably than their younger counterparts. In both bivariate and multivariate analyses, the older social workers scored significantly higher in compassion satisfaction, being glad they chose social work as a career, and feeling valued as a professional in society. The older social workers scored lower in workplace stress at levels that were statistically significant in a bivariate analysis, but not in a multivariate analysis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Social Work Journal
StateE-pub ahead of print - Jan 28 2020

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