Effects of mindfulness, coping styles and resilience on job retention and burnout in caregivers supporting aggressive adults with developmental disabilities [2019]

Considering the growing body of studies investigating the effects of mindfulness‐based interventions on caregivers supporting people with developmental disabilities, the current study aimed to explore the role that the cognitive processes of mindfulness, coping style and resilience played in predicting caregiver retention and burnout among a sample of direct support professionals working with aggressive adults with developmental disabilities.

Ninety‐seven direct support professionals were surveyed to determine level of mindfulness, coping styles, resilience and burnout and were interviewed 3 months later to determine if they were still working with the aggressive adult.

Mindfulness skills of describing non‐judgmentally and observing one’s environment, as well as problem‐focused coping, emerged as protective factors against burnout, while avoidance‐focused and maladaptive coping emerged as risk factors. Mindful openness acted as the only predictor of job retention.

These results support that paid caregivers should receive trainings in mindfulness and positive coping mechanisms as part of their job trainings, to promote positive outcomes for both themselves and the people they support.

R. E. Nevill & S. M. Havercamp
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 27 January 2019