Date of Award

8-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

First Advisor

Richard Gelles

Second Advisor

Lani Nelson-Zlupko

Third Advisor

Alexander Duncan

Abstract

ABSTRACT

MAKING THE CONNECTION: USING SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVIST THEORY TO EXAMINE DIALYSIS SOCIAL WORKERS’

PERCEPTIONS OF STRESS

Charisse Eudella Marshall, LCSW

Richard Gelles, Ph.D

Lani Nelson-Zlupko, Ph.D., LCSW

Work-related stress is a significant aspect of clinical work and case management. To date, there are few studies available that explore this professional phenomenon in dialysis social work practice. Since dialysis social work is the only genre of social services that is federally mandated, there needs to be more exploration of the professional stressors that may influence the effectiveness of clinical social work. Informed by a thorough literature review, a sample of 12 (N=12) Licensed Master’s Level Social Workers based in New York and Pennsylvania were recruited using various forms of social media and snowball sampling to explore work-related stress in dialysis social work practice. Participants were asked a series of questions regarding their perceptions of stress, coping skills and overall, how they individually handle stress at work. During the interview process, participants described specific experiences with stress on dialysis units that were consistent with current literature. The 12 semi-structured interviews were coded, transcribed, and then textually analyzed using the MAXQDA 11 (1989) professional software for qualitative analysis. Two specific themes emerged from the study: job flexibility and work commitment. The theoretical underpinnings of Social Constructivist Theory were used to explore the common themes uncovered in Chapter 5: Findings. The Social Constructivist Theory ( Dewey, 1933; Vygotsky, 1934; Piaget, 1972; Bruner 1990) suggests that groups and/or communities tend to share values and traits as well as actions. The findings provide insight into the homogeneous perceptions of stress in dialysis social work practice.

Included in

Social Work Commons

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