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What Is Known About the Secondary Traumatization of Staff Working With Offending Populations? A Review of the Literature

Frost, Laura and SCOTT, Helen (2020) What Is Known About the Secondary Traumatization of Staff Working With Offending Populations? A Review of the Literature. Traumatology. ISSN 1085-9373

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Abstract or description

Being secondarily exposed to trauma through working with traumatized clients can be challenging for
professionals, sometimes leading to them developing secondary traumatic stress (STS) and/or vicarious
trauma (VT). Experiences of VT and STS have primarily been researched in relation to staff working
with trauma survivors. Perpetrators of offenses have also often experienced traumatic events in their lives
and may be traumatized by the offense they have committed. This review aims to summarize what is
known about the prevalence and development of VT and STS in populations of any staff working with
adult offenders. Relevant literature was identified by searching appropriate databases, and hand searching
was conducted to identify any gray literature or omitted articles. A total of 11 studies were identified,
critically reviewed, and synthesized. All of these studies found VT or STS to be present within their
samples. Staff were largely categorized as being at low-to-moderate risk for STS. No studies attempted
to clarify the level of VT within their sample. Factors associated with VT and STS are discussed. This
literature base was challenging to synthesize owing to a lack of conceptual clarity and methodological
issues within the included studies. The findings suggest that staff working with offending populations do
experience VT and STS and that support could be improved to assist in mitigating the effects.
Keywords: vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, offenders, staff

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: the paper has not (yet) been published and is not therefore the authoritative document of record. (Example: "Draft version 1.3, 1/5/16. This paper has not been peer reviewed. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission.")
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology and Counselling
Depositing User: Helen SCOTT
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2020 11:45
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2023 14:53

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