School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Bridgette Hester


Job-related Stress Reactions, Vicarious Trauma, Secondary Traumatic Stress, Resilience, Coping Skills


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


This quantitative correlational study explored if and to what extent pre-existing health conditions, resilience and coping mechanisms moderated the relationship between job-related stress reactions and mental health outcomes in child protective services social workers. The most challenging clients are victims of trauma, and professionals who work with trauma survivors are at risk of experiencing job-related stress reactions which can be harmful to their overall health. Ann Masten’s variable-focused model of resilience theory guided this study, which involved ninety-six child protective services social workers, supervisors, managers, and directors in North Carolina. Data was collected through a survey which involved demographic questionnaire with a screening for pre-existing health conditions and five instruments: The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, Medical Outcomes Scale, Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale, Vicarious Trauma Scale, and Brief Resilient Coping Scale. Hayes PROCESS macro was used to analyze data to determine the moderation between variables. Results of the analysis found resilience to correlate with mental health outcomes and resilient coping to correlate with job-related stress reactions; however, no moderators were statistically significant. Future research may consider obtaining information on the effects of adversity by exploring secondary trauma in child protective services social workers and how these professionals persevere through the trauma.

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