Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The present study examined factors influencing levels of secondary traumatic stress (STS) in non-offending caregivers (NOCs) of children with histories of sexual or physical abuse. These factors included the nature of the abuse, NOCs’ relationships with the initiators of the abuse, children’s ages and genders, NOCs’ genders, NOCs’ personal trauma histories, familial structures, and the elapsed time between children’s disclosures of abuse and their trauma assessments. As a secondary objective, the present study examined the interactions between children’s self-reports of their own posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology, NOCs’ estimates of their children’s PTSD symptomatology, and NOCs’ self-reports of their own STS symptomatology. Participants from a clinical sample (N=150; child age M=9.89, SD=4.08) completed the PTSD Checklist for the DSM-5 (PCL-5) and the Child PTSD Symptom Scale (CPSS, Child-Report and NOC-Report). Analytic strategies included point-biserial correlation coefficient calculations, linear regression analyses, and Analyses of Covariance (ANCOVAs). The present study found that NOCs experience STS following their children’s disclosures of abuse, irrespective of the nature of the abuse, their children’s ages, and their children’s genders. NOCs’ levels of STS were unaffected by whether their own genders were congruous or incongruous with their children’s genders. The present study also found that NOCs’ levels of STS were impacted by their relationships with the initiators of the abuse, personal trauma histories, and familial structures. NOCs’ self-reported STS symptomatology mirrored their estimates of their children’s PTSD symptomatology. The discrepancy ratios between children’s self-reports of their own PTSD symptomatology and NOCs’ estimates of their children’s PTSD symptomatology were impacted by children’s ages and genders. The impact of STS on NOCs deserves additional attention in the child traumatology literature and warrants careful consideration in clinical settings. Clinical practitioners should note the importance of examining children’s self-reports of their own PTSD symptomatology, NOCs’ estimates of their children’s PTSD symptomatology, and NOCs’ self-reports of their own STS symptomatology concurrently when making recommendations for trauma-informed evidence-based treatments.
Mangold, Ani, "Factors Influencing Levels Of Secondary Traumatic Stress In Non-Offending Caregivers Of Children With Sexual Or Physical Abuse Histories" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 4356.