Development of the Professional Self-Care Scale

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Abstract

In recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on the importance of self-care for psychologists and other mental health professionals. With the growth of positive psychology and preventive medicine, self-care is an emerging topic, promulgated as a means of avoiding the adverse effects of stress and promoting professional functioning and well-being. However, the research on self-care is limited because of the lack of an empirically based, psychometrically sound measure of this construct. Thus, the purpose of this project was to develop a measure of professional self-care. Professional psychologists were the focus of study, with the goal being to develop a measure that can be used in this population and similar groups of professionals. Based on expert feedback and a preliminary study of 422 licensed psychologists in Illinois, a 5-factor, 21-item scale was created. Factor analysis identified the following self-care factors: Professional Support, Professional Development, Life Balance, Cognitive Awareness, and Daily Balance. Preliminary analyses provided initial support for the validity of the 5 factors. A follow-up study was conducted with a second sample of clinical psychologists. The 5-factor structure provided a good fit to the data with the second sample. Thus, based on factor analysis and validity data, a 5-factor, 21-item Professional Self-Care Scale was established for further study and use in future research.

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