The relationship between reciprocity and the emotional and behavioural responses of staff

K Thomas, John Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background The current study examines a model relating to the concept of reciprocity and burnout in staff, incorporating previous research findings based upon Weiner's (1980, 1986) cognitive-emotional model linking emotions, optimism and helping behaviour, with the aim of testing the model. Materials Staff working in community homes within the voluntary, private and public sector for people with intellectual disabilities within an urban borough completed a self-report questionnaire including measures of reciprocity, burnout, emotion, optimism and helping behaviour. Results Support was found for an association between lack of reciprocity and levels of burnout. Burnout was found to be correlated with emotion, optimism and helping behaviour. Path analysis revealed significant associations between a lack of reciprocity with the organization and colleagues, burnout, positive affect, optimism and helping. Conclusions The findings provide support for the role of reciprocal relationships between care staff, the organization and work colleagues in burnout. Some support was found for the proposed model. The clinical implications of the study, methodological considerations and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)in press
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • staff
  • helping behaviour
  • emotions
  • reciprocity
  • optimism
  • burnout


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