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National Treatment Center Study
Reports Presentations Info for Participants Links SOC 3860 AHSR 2007

Clinical Supervision and Turnover in Substance Abuse Treatment
(Project MERITS)


The healthcare industry has staff turnover rates that are higher than any other industry, and this problem is even more pronounced among substance abuse treatment centers. Turnover renders direct (e.g., staff replacement costs) and indirect (e.g., lower quality patient care, loss of institutional knowledge) costs to substance abuse treatment centers and is a recognized problem in the field. This project provides a comprehensive examination of turnover among substance abuse counselors and clinical supervisors, focusing on the effect that the clinical supervisory relationship has on the turnover of both parties. Both positive (i.e., benefits) and negative (i.e., costs) supervisory experiences are examined, from the perspective of both counselor and clinical supervisor, based on the growing recognition that clinical supervisory relationships can yield benefits as well as costs for both parties. Known as Project MERITS
(Managing Effective Relationships in Treatment Services), the specific aims of the research are to: (1) examine the predictors of turnover among substance abuse counselors and clinical supervisors, (2) explore the mediating role of work attitudes (e.g., burnout, job satisfaction, commitment) in the relationship between clinical supervision and turnover, (3) track changes in the counselor-clinical supervisor relationship over time it develops and/or deteriorates, demonstrating how changes in the relationship predict career and work attitudes, as well as turnover, and (4) examine the role of counselor and clinical supervisor experience as it relates to turnover and other study variables. Counselor-clinical supervisor dyads will be studied over time in a longitudinal study of turnover. This is a CTN platform study - project participants are all treatment organizations that are affiliated with the Clinical Trials Network.

Principal Investigator: Lillian T. Eby
Funding Source: NIDA (R01DA019460)
Funding Period: April 2006 - March 2011

Results and More Information:

Early Findings (preliminary overview data from Wave 1, presented at AHSR 2007)

Read more about Project MERITS on the study's blog

The University of Georgia Franklin College Institute for Behavioral Research Website Contact