Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Michael Schock

Second Advisor

Sharon Patten

Third Advisor

Pat Ahrens


This quantitative study used survey research methodology to explore the relationship befween sense of humor, stress, and burnout in medical social workers. The hypothesis of this study is that a sense of humor will decrease stress, which in turn will descrease burnout for social workers. This study surveyed 75 medical social workers in the State of Minnesota on their use of humor and their current stress and burnout level. The study used the Sense of Humor Rating Scale, the Job Stress Survey, and the Maslach Burnout Inventory as the measures to quantify the variables. The study found that stress is negatively correlated with personal accomplishment and sense of humor is positively correlated with depersonalization. These findings have implications in policy and practice by assisting social service supervisors with identifying sense of humor, stress, and burnout in their employees and creating ways to combat the negative aspects of stress and burnout.


SC 11.MSW.2001.Plante.K

Included in

Social Work Commons