Predictors of secondary traumatic stress among clinical social workers
Quinn, Adam Ewell
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This survey-based study of masters-level clinical social workers examines predictors of secondary traumatic stress, with a focus on the effects of the clinical supervisory relationship. In order to obtain a best predictive subset of variables from a larger set of candidate variables, this study employed rigorous variable selection methods. The results suggest that low salaries, large caseload sizes, anxiety, and high-quality supervisory relationships may be salient factors that impact the onset of secondary trauma among social workers particularly working with traumatized client populations. Specifically, positively-rated supervisory relationships predicted a substantial decrease in the degree to which a social worker possessed secondary trauma symptoms. The quality of the supervisory relationship may be an important aspect in reducing the prevalence of secondary trauma among social workers and mental health counselors. Practice implications and future research are discussed.