Gil and Weinberg – “Secondary trauma among social workers treating trauma clients: The role of coping strategies and internal resources”

Gil, Sharon and Michael Weinberg.  “Secondary trauma among social workers treating trauma clients: The role of coping strategies and internal resources.”  International Social Work 58.4 (2015): 551-61.  Sage.  Web.  21 July 2015.

From the Abstract:

A hierarchical regression analysis revealed that emotion-focused and avoidance coping strategies, previous history of exposure to a traumatic event, and high exposure to traumatic material through clients were associated with increased levels of secondary trauma, while dispositional optimism, mastery, and steady supervision on a weekly basis were associated with a reduction of those symptoms. (551)

No surprises here, really, but the fact that there’s study data could help indicate the degree to which these factors play a role in moderating symptoms of PTSD.  This would also tie in to the study by Jardin et al. on secure attachment to caregivers among adolescents who have a history of sexual trauma.

Relating this to military service, the phrase “confidence through competence” as well as the emphasis on direct supervision may indicate that military units (at least in the U.S.) have already adapted these types of strategies in order to maintain combat readiness.  But this would also indicate why the suicide rate among discharged veterans remains so high – once you’ve left your unit, you lose that sense of close supervision.  You feel you’re on your own.  And maybe it’s the case that, for adults, family is unable to provide that type of supervisory reassurance.  This could be especially true among parents, who would find themselves in the position as supervisors without supervision.

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