Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Child welfare workers-Job stress, Secondary traumatic stress, Vicarious trauma, World assumptions scale, Secondary traumatic stress scale, Forensic interview, Children's Advocacy Center


Vicarious trauma (VT) and secondary traumatic stress (STS) are two concepts that are recognized in the professional helping fields as potential risks of working with trauma survivors. This study examined VT and STS among staff members of Children's Advocacy Centers across the United States. Variables that were hypothesized to impact STS and VT were identified and their correlations were analyzed statistically. Two scales, the Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale and the World Assumptions Scale, were used to measure rates of STS and VT among participants. This study also examined the relationship between education, additional training, age, gender, responsibilities, time working at the agency, caseload, hours worked and personal trauma and VT and STS. Statistical Results indicated that there was a positive correlation between level of education and STS as well as the age of the helper and The lack of relationship between personal trauma history and rates of VT and STS was notable. This and other findings are addressed. Implications for future research, training, program practice, and policy are also discussed.




iii, 74 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 53-57)