Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Secondary traumatic stress, Facebook (Firm), Social media-Psychological aspects, Police shootings, Racism-Psychological aspects, Social media, Facebook, Police videos, Police arrest, Vicarious trauma, Trauma, Racial trauma, Black lives matter, BLM


This quantitative exploratory study used conflictual police videos on Facebook as a marker for vicarious racial trauma on social media to investigate its correlation with trauma symptoms. The literature has yet to examine the impact of vicarious trauma experienced on social media. This study collected data from participants who completed an anonymous online questionnaire reflecting on previous experiences watching conflictual police videos. The findings suggest: a positive correlation between vicarious racial trauma experienced on Facebook with trauma symptoms; that police shooting videos had a stronger correlation to trauma symptoms compared to police arrest videos; and a moderate relationship between negative past police interactions and trauma symptoms. Although the findings did not reach statistical significance, it suggests an association between vicarious racial trauma experienced on social media and trauma symptoms, which would warrant future research. The limitations to this investigation are discussed, and suggestions for future research are outlined.




iv, 61 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 41-44)

Included in

Social Work Commons