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Secondary traumatic stress in Turkish aid workers: Adaptation of a measure and investigation of secondary traumatic stress

Journal: Klinik Psikoloji Dergisi (Vol.2, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 107-116

Keywords : secondary traumatic stress; vicarious traumatization; aid workers; secondary traumatic stress scale;

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This study aims to investigate the secondary traumatic stress symptoms of aid workers who care for trauma victims as part of their jobs or as volunteers. To this end, Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale was adapted to Turkish and implemented to 228 professional and voluntary aid workers. Data were analyzed with respect to participants' type of work (being either a professional or a volunteer aid worker), sex, age, education level, years spent at recruitment, presence of a traumat ic incident, and type of traumatic incident. Analyses revealed that professional aid workers expe rienced more traumatic stress symptoms compared to volunteer aid workers. Furthermore, it was found that participants who had been working for between 11 and 15 years experienced more traumatic stress symptoms than those who had been working for between 1 and 5 years. These findings indicate that aid workers who had experienced an incident that they consider as traumatic showed more secondary traumatic stress symptoms as opposed to those who had not experienced a traumatic incident. Notably, no significant difference was found between participants who were exposed to the traumatic incident indirectly due to their work and participants who experienced the traumatic incident in their personal lives. This finding points out that exposure to a secondary traumatic incident leads to similar responses and experiences with direct exposure.

Last modified: 2020-09-04 23:37:44