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Rachel Gallardo


AbstractStress and burnout are recognized problems among staff working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). However, information on stress and burnout in African immigrant direct support professionals (DSPs) is lacking. The purpose of this correlational mediation study was to investigate whether burnout mediates the relationship between stress and depression among African immigrants working with adults with IDDs. Job stress theory and burnout theory served as the theoretical framework for the study. Overall, 111 DSPs completed self-report questionnaires: the Maslach Burnout Inventory, Parker and DeCotiis’ Job Stress Scale, and the Beck Depression Inventory. Results revealed that stress significantly predicted burnout and depression, and remained a significant predictor of depression after controlling for burnout, so full mediation was not supported. Further, job stress predicts burnout and depression in African immigrants working as DSPs in the United States. Disability organizations can use the findings to develop specific training and interventions that target stress and burnout in African immigrants, as well as other DSPs in human services. Qualitative research is recommended for more in-depth exploration of stress, burnout, and depression in this population; further quantitative research is also recommended on the relationship between acculturation stress and job stress in African immigrants working as DSPs. Positive social change implications include a reduction of stress and burnout in DSPs, potentially leading to enhanced well-being for these workers and improved quality of care for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

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