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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tertiārius Trauma and Resiliency among Leaders of Trauma-focused Organizations
by Moore, Alice R., Psy.D., Saybrook University, 2018, 254; 10747380
Abstract (Summary)

There is substantial literature on the harmful effects of trauma transmission from the patient to the trauma professional identified as secondary trauma (Figley 1995 a and b, 1999; Figley, 2006, 2012; MacRitchie & Leibowitz, 2010). The research was the first to measure tertiārius trauma that reflects the indirect effects of trauma on organizational leadership who directly supervises and/or oversees trauma professionals (leaders). Tertiārius trauma and multi-tiered trauma were coined for this work. One hypothesis was that the negative effects of primary trauma are transmitted throughout traumatized programs and will be evident in the identified leaders. The second hypothesis was that all leaders will evidence resilience and resiliency. The research questions are: (1) Is resilience evident among the leaders? (2) Does tertiārius trauma exist, and what is the degree that it exists among leaders? (3) If it does exist, how is tertīrius trauma transmitted? The studys’ primary purpose was to examine if primary trauma that is directly communicated to trauma professionals from patients (secondary trauma) is indirectly transmitted to leadership (tertiārius trauma).

Published literature regarding trauma transmission and resilience was reviewed. The design of the study included qualitative methods research with 10 participants who worked in trauma-organizations. The exploratory, descriptive, flexible, narrative and comparative research was comprised of 4 structured electronic self-interview surveys including Demographic Information, Professional Leadership Quality of Life Scale, Primary Trauma Exposure Assessment, and Resiliency-resilience Scale a/k/a Self-Help Scale. Data analyses included conceptual coding, frequency distributions, and histograms.

Results revealed primary trauma directly communicated to trauma professionals from patients is indirectly transmitted to leadership (tertiārius trauma). Tertiārius trauma was evident in 100% of the participants, but was primarily present to a low degree. The results evidenced a mid-to-high degree of resilience among most of the participants.

The innovative research was valuable and identified that the multi-tiered trauma transmission process (1) negatively affects trauma professionals indirectly exposed to primary trauma; and (2) supports the existence of tertiārius trauma. The dissertation points to future research on trauma transmission containment to reduce the damaging transmission.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: DiCowden, Marie
Commitee: Pritzker, Steven, Richards, Ruth
School: Saybrook University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Social psychology
Keywords: Multi-tiered trauma, Organizational leadership, Resilience and resiliency, Tertiārius trauma, Trauma organizations, Trauma transmission
Publication Number: 10747380
ISBN: 978-0-438-19617-9
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