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Susceptibility to Emotional Contagion: Its Measurement and Importance to Social Work
Journal of Social Service Research (2007)
  • Darcy Siebert, Rutgers University - New Brunswick/Piscataway
  • Carl Siebert, Boise State University
  • Alicia Taylor-McLaughlin, Florida State University

This article reports a psychometric evaluation of a measure of susceptibility to emotional contagion, designed to measure the degree to which a person is vulnerable to “catching” and sharing the emotion experienced by another. The scale was examined to test its application to depression, burnout, and impairment among practicing social workers. Data from a probability sample of 751 practicing social workers were collected in an anonymous survey about social workers’ health and work issues. The sample was split to conduct exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. The factor analyses resulted in a revised scale that demonstrated acceptable internal consistency reliability, good content validity, excellent factorial validity, and preliminary construct validity. Susceptibility to emotional contagion was related to burnout, depression, and professional impairment. Future recommendations are made and this instrument may be a useful tool for the identification, prevention, intervention, and education of social workers at risk for depression, burnout, and professional impairment.

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Citation Information
Siebert, D. C., Siebert, C. F., & Taylor-McLaughlin, A. (2007). Susceptibility to emotional contagion: Its measurement and importance to social work. Journal of Social Service Research, 33(3), 47-56.