Secondary traumatic stress and adjustment in therapists who work with sexual violence survivors: The moderating role of posttraumatic growth
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Due to their secondary exposure to the traumatic events disclosed by clients, therapists who work with sexual violence survivors are at risk of experiencing secondary traumatic stress. We examined whether the negative effects of secondary traumatic stress on therapist adjustment would be buffered by posttraumatic growth. Sixty-one therapists who work with sexual violence survivors completed measures of secondary traumatic stress, posttraumatic growth and a range of adjustment indicators. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses demonstrated that posttraumatic growth moderated the negative impact of secondary traumatic stress on therapist depression, anxiety, personal meaning and satisfaction with life. Posttraumatic growth sustained positive affect through a direct effects model only. This study provides support for the protective role of posttraumatic growth in adjustment to secondary traumatic stress.
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