Idealism, altruism, career orientation, and emotional exhaustion among social work undergraduates

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

18 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-121
Journal / PublicationJournal of Social Work Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


The present study examines the genesis of emotional exhaustion among undergraduate social work students in Hong Kong. Of particular concern are the relationships among key factors, including the student's idealism, altruism and career orientation, and emotional exhaustion. To investigate this, the study employed survey data collected from 165 undergraduate social work students recruited from a major university in Hong Kong. The results support the hypothesis that idealism and career orientation affect students' emotional exhaustion. Nonetheless, the results do not support the hypothesized negative relationship between altruism and emotional exhaustion. The implications of the findings for further research and prevention of emotional exhaustion in social work education are discussed. Copyright © 2009, Council on Social Work Education, Inc. All rights reserved.