Mental Health and Law Enforcement Professionals: Trauma History, Psychological Symptoms, and Impact of Providing Services to Child Sexual Abuse Survivors

Victoria M. Follette, Melissa M. Polusny, Kathleen Milbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations

Abstract

A survey of 558 mental health and law enforcement professionals assessed current and past trauma experiences, exposure to traumatic client material, and the sequelae of both of those types of personal and professional trauma experiences. Results indicated that 29.8% of therapists and 19.6% of officers reported experiencing some form of childhood trauma. The two groups differed in their reports of psychological symptoms, trauma specific symptoms, and work-related post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. There was some evidence that professionals with a history of child abuse reported significantly higher levels of symptoms that have been associated with trauma survivors in past research. However, more proximal variables seem to have greater relevance to current functioning. The implications for training and prevention of secondary traumatization are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-282
Number of pages8
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 1994

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