The Social Nature of Occupational Distress. Francophone Social Workers in a Minority Setting Faced with Structural and Institutional Changes in Healthcare in Ontario, Manitoba and New-Brunswick.

Monday, 16 July 2018: 17:30
Oral Presentation
Maude LÉVESQUE, University of Ottawa, Canada
Lilian NEGURA, University of Ottawa, Canada
Occupational distress constitutes a major issue within the field of social work. Multiple studies have sought to explain the manifestations of occupational distress in social workers, but mostly through psychological factors and specific characteristics of the clinical practice. In contrast, we seek to explore the social workers’ experience of their contexts of work following recent reforms of the healthcare system in Ontario, Manitoba and New-Brunswick in relationship with their social representations of social work itself. With this inquiry, we seek to better understand how this relationship shapes the extent and manifestation of occupational distress in a professional setting. Our study aimed more specifically to document the specificity of this reality in a francophone minority setting. 30 semi-directed were conducted on a non-probabilistic sample of social workers from three provinces who declare having experienced symptoms of occupational distress within the last 12 months. The integrated content analysis combined with a lexicographic analysis of the interviews allowed to 1. Bring to light the complex relationships between the structural and organizational dimensions of their work and their occupational distress 2. Analyze the social representation of social work of social workers to better understand how this representation influences or is influenced by the experience of their work 3. Propose a model for the role of the representational and experiential dimensions of work in the occupational distress of social workers 4. Explore how particular social standings (the feminine majority within the profession and the clinical practice of Francophones in a minority setting) further influences the experience of occupational distress of the participating social workers.