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Compassion Fatigue and Burnout among Rabbis Working as Chaplains

Compassion Fatigue and Burnout among Rabbis Working as Chaplains

Compassion Fatigue, Compassion Satisfaction, and Burnout were studied in a convenience sample of 66 male and female Rabbis who work as chaplains and attended the annual conference of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC) in 2002. Although Compassion Fatigue and Burnout were low among the survey participants, both measures were significantly higher among the women in the sample. Compassion Fatigue was also higher among chaplains who were divorced, and it increased with the number of hours per week the chaplains spent working with trauma victims or their families (r = .25, p<.05). Hierarchical multiple regression was performed to determine the influence of six professional and five personal variables on each of the three dependent variables. Four professional variables accounted for 19.5% of the variation and three personal variables accounted for 20.3% of the variation in Compassion Fatigue. Attempts to predict Burnout and Compassion Satisfaction were far less successful. Burnout was predicted by only two variables (i.e. age and years as a Rabbi), which accounted for just 18.4% of the variance in Burnout scores. Age was the only variable found to have a significant effect on Compassion Satisfaction, and its effect was positive. The implications of the findings are discussed.

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