Variables Associated With Secondary Traumatic Stress Among Mental Health Professionals


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Abstract

The current study investigated variables associated with secondary traumatization in mental health professionals. Participants included 88 psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors, and creative arts therapists. These participants completed the modified Stroop procedure, which is an objective measure of secondary trauma. They also completed the Secondary Trauma Scale, the Life Events Checklist, the Job Satisfaction Survey, and a demographics questionnaire. Results revealed that between 23 and 27% of respondents were positive for secondary traumatization. Whereas personal trauma history was associated with the modified Stroop and females reported more secondary trauma than males, no relationship was found between level of trauma exposure, quality of supervision, and job satisfaction to secondary traumatization. Overall results indicate a relatively high level of secondary trauma among mental health workers and also show the modified Stroop to be a valid method for studying secondary trauma.

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