School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Victor Hinson


Interpreter, Mental Health, Anxiety, Secondary Stress, Depression, Personality, Gatekeeping


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of this quantitative, variable-centered, correlational research design is to assess the mental health status of professional ASL/English interpreters currently working in the field. Specifically, this study looked at levels of anxiety, depression, and secondary stress within this population. It was postulated that many factors impact the mental health of professional interpreters; therefore, internal factors such as personality as well as external factors such as job demands were assessed. The findings of the research may prove helpful in developing future interpreter education as well as mental health care for current interpreters. A brief history of the profession is given including the occurrence of “gatekeeping” by the Deaf community. Various challenges in the field are described, including physical risks, difficult settings, and secondary trauma. Data were collected via a questionnaire; the Big Five Inventory (BFI); the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales (DASS); and the Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale (STSS). The data collected were used to identify correlations between levels of anxiety, secondary stress, and/or depression in professionals entering the field. Commonality in personality traits among interpreters, certain traits having a propensity toward issues with mental health, and elevated rates of anxiety, secondary stress, and/or depression were found.

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