Kevin Petersen, Fielding's School of Psychology
A cross-sectional sample of 228 mental health providers completed an online survey to explain the factors relating to the development of secondary trauma in mental health workers. Risk factors were measured by the Life Event Checklist and the Secondary Exposure Scale. The Self-Care Checklist, Shared Power Scale, and the Post Traumatic Growth Inventory Short-Form were used to measure protective factors. A structural equation modeling approach was used to determine the general compatibility of the model with the data, and examine the strength and direction of relationships that predict elevated symptoms of secondary trauma. The results support the compensatory resilience model and suggest that protective factors such as self-care and workplace empowerment are very important in lessening the risk of developing trauma symptoms in mental health professionals.
KEY WORDS: SECONDARY TRAUMA, PROTECTIVE FACTORS, RISK FACTORS