An Examination of Resilience, Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, and Compassion Satisfaction between Men and Women among Trauma Responders

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Compassion Fatigue, Compassion Satisfaction, Burnout


Due to the emotional and traumatic nature of disasters and other critical incidents, the need for effective disaster behavioral health (DBH) responders is in high demand (see Raphael, 1986). For instance, Galea, Nandi and Vlahov (2005) suggest that 30-40% of directly exposed disaster survivors will experience one or more mental health disorders (i.e., PTSD, depression or anxiety). Therefore, professionals working in this field are called upon to provide assistance and critical care to individuals who have experienced trauma directly. Unfortunately, the psychological consequences of traumatic events tend to exhibit a "ripple effect" which can also affect the DBH professionals who respond to provide crisis mental health support services (Myers & Wee, 2005). Even though these critical incident responders do not experience the trauma directly, their indirect exposure can often lead to compassion fatigue and burnout (Figley, 2002; Jacobson, 2012; Sabin-Farrell & Turpin, 2003; Sprang, Clark, & Whitt-Woosley, 2007), as well as inhibit them from effectively providing the assistance and care that is demanded by their profession (Boscarino, Figley, & Adams, 2004). However, factors such as compassion satisfaction and various levels of resilience have been found to be crucial in buffering the harmful effects of compassion fatigue and burnout (Burnett, 2017; Burnett & Wahl, 2015). Although it is clear that both men and women experience these negative results to some extent, the question arises as to whether one gender is more susceptible to these negative consequences of indirect trauma.

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North American Journal of Psychology





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Behavioral Sciences