The Role of Demographics, Professional Quality of Life and Public Image in Social Workers' Self-Esteem

Maya Kagan, Lior Melamed-Biran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Professional self-esteem refers to the importance that individuals attribute to their profession. It plays an important role in many personal and work-related aspects in the life of social workers (SWs). The purpose of the current study was to examine the contribution of select demographic variables (gender, length of professional experience and satisfaction with pay), variables related to professional quality of life (secondary traumatic stress, burnout and compassion satisfaction) and SWs' view of their public image, to explaining their professional self-esteem. The data for this study were collected using structured online questionnaires administered to a convenience sample of 350 SWs in Israel. A three-step hierarchical regression was conducted to examine the contribution of independent variables to explaining SWs' professional self-esteem. The findings show that SWs with greater professional experience, higher satisfaction with pay, higher compassion satisfaction, lower self-reported burnout and a more positive view of their public image reported higher professional self-esteem. Yet, gender and secondary traumatic stress did not contribute to explaining SWs' professional self-esteem. Hence, to improve the professional self-esteem of SWs, efforts must be made to improve their professional quality of life and public image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1149
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2024


  • professional quality of life
  • professional self-esteem
  • public image
  • social workers

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this