Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

McAllister, Carolyn


One of the effects of working in a helping field such as social work is the concept known as compassion fatigue. The definition of compassion fatigue varies among the literature but generally centers around the impact that stress has on professionals and their empathy.The literature on compassion fatigue mentions the negative effects it has on professionals and their clients. However, there are protective measures that can be taken in an effort to minimize adverse outcomes. Therefore, this study sought to assess the familiarity of the concept of compassion fatigue among social work students as well as the student’s engagement in preventative measures.

The data for this study was gathered in a form of an electronic survey which helped minimize risk to participants during the global Covid-19 pandemic. The study found a negative correlation was found between years of experience in the social work field and familiarity with compassion fatigue. No significant correlation was found between gender, social work program, or religious identity and engagement in self-care. Given the existing literature on compassion suggesting education on the topic as a preventative measure this study recommends the inclusion of compassion fatigue in social work programs as well as encourages further research on the topic.

Included in

Social Work Commons