Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Frederick Rotgers, PsyD, ABPP Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Raymond Hanbury, PhD, ABPP


The purpose of this study was to identify risk factors correlated with vicarious traumatization in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) clinicians. One hundred and sixty clinicians were surveyed. Statistical analyses were conducted to determine if a relationship existed between variables, such as current and cumulative exposure to client trauma and clinician endorsement of disrupted cognitive schemas and intrusive imagery. Variables such as clinician involvement in professional and personal support activities as well as participation in leisure ·and spiritual activities were also examined. Study results suggested that a longer work history and utilization of peer support served as protective factors against CISM clinicians developing symptoms of vicarious traumatization. The researcher expected CISM clinicians would report more symptoms of traumatic stress and vicarious traumatization; however, when compared to non-CISM clinicians, no statistically significant differences were detected between groups. Study limitations included generalizability and potential participant sensitization to survey instruments. In addition, results suggested a relationship between participant endorsement of socially desirable behaviors and the reporting of fewer traumatic stress symptoms. Because such a correlation may indicate score suppression, overall study results should be interpreted with caution.

Included in

Psychology Commons