Vicarious traumatization in professionals working with sexually abused children


ÇOLAK B. , Sismanlar S. G. , Karakaya I., Etiler N., Bicer U.

ANADOLU PSIKIYATRI DERGISI-ANATOLIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, cilt.13, ss.51-58, 2012 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 13 Konu: 1
  • Basım Tarihi: 2012
  • Dergi Adı: ANADOLU PSIKIYATRI DERGISI-ANATOLIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.51-58

Özet

Objective: People exposed trauma indirectly may experience similar clinical symptoms to primary victims of the trauma and changes in attitudes and behaviors may arise related to the trauma. In this study, the aim was to evaluate alterations in professionals' attitudes and behaviors concerning children after they had begun to work with sexually abused children. Methods: The participants including specialists and residents of Forensic Medicine (n=173) and of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (n=55), and social workers (n=61) were completed sociodemographic questionnaire, Kocaeli Attitude and Behavior Scale (KABS) and Kocaeli Short Screening Scale for Psychological Trauma. In KABS developed by the coordinator of the study, the assessment in attitudes and behaviors was based on four domains concerning children: possible external dangers, possible dangers from trusted people or places, feeling of misunderstood in contact with other children and feeling of misunderstood in contact with own or close children. Results: It was found that 58.8% of the participants were male, 64.7% were married, and the most frequent age range was between 26-30 years (34.3%). Statistically significant differences were found in all the items of KABS exploring attitudes and behaviors before and after they had started to work with sexually abused children. The most prominent alteration in attitudes and behaviors was on 'possible external dangers'. The mostly changed (72.3%) item was 'my child may get harm from people met online'. 50.9% of the participants stated posttraumatic stress symptoms on Kocaeli Short Screening Scale for Psychological Trauma, and 11.4% met criterion for possible diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Conclusion: The study emphasize that the professionals working with sexually abused children may develop prominent changes in attitudes and behaviors, and symptoms suggestive of PTSD. It was thought that this is probably associated with the cognitive changes related to vicarious traumatization in trauma workers evaluating sexually abused children. (Anatolian Journal of Psychiatry 2012;13:51-58)