Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Science


School of Community Studies


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Sherry Saggers

Second Advisor

Dr Irene Froyland


This study sets out to determine the patterns, predictors and levels of stress amongst forty two groupworkers employed as care givers in five community based support units known commonly as hostels for troubled and troublesome adolescents. To establish and fully assess work related stress amongst groupworkers, it was necessary to capture not only results from questionnaires, but also individual perceptions of stress. To accomplish this, groupworkers were invited to discuss the topic further in face to face interviews upon completion of the questionnaires. Particular themes emergert from the results that reflect some of the concerns held by the author prior to commencing the study, these included excessive paperwork and the perceived potential for physical confrontation with the young people in the hostel system. There were other issues that did not rise to an expected prominence, for example, shiftwork, and workplace conditions. Finally, there emerged unexpected themes, which included the disparity between being permanently employed versus temporary employment, and the uncertainty of the future direction in which the organization seemed to be heading.