The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - 65

Secondary Trauma in RAs

& Dafinoiu, 2012; Devilly, Wright, & Varker,
2009; Lynch, 2017; Shoji et al., 2015; Sorenson, 2018). Secondary traumatic stress may be
defined as "the stress resulting from helping
or wanting to help a traumatized or suffering
person" (Figley, 1999, p. 10).

Symptoms of Secondary Trauma
Secondary trauma has been linked to a
number of negative occupational outcomes
such as anxiety and depression, low self-worth,
decreased productivity, and increased physical maladies (Figley, 1999; Shoji et al., 2015).
Although not mentioned by name, secondary
trauma is captured within the DSM-V under
criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder or
PTSD (American Psychiatric Association,
2013). Using the DSM-V framework, secondary traumatic stress may be identified as the interplay among four specific symptom groups,
as well as a number of other factors. These four
symptom groups include the following:
* Intrusion: The degree to which the trauma
victim's experience unintentionally penetrates the caregiver's day-to-day thoughts.
* Negative alteration to mood and cognition: The degree to which a caregiver may
experience forgetfulness, exaggerated

. . . supporting residents
experiencing suicidal ideation was
found to have the most significant
impact on RA self-reported levels of
secondary trauma.

expectations of themselves or others, distancing from others, and persistent negative emotional states.
* Changes in arousal and reactivity: The
degree to which a caregiver may experience self-destructive behaviors, sleep
issues, inability to concentrate, and aggression or irritability.
* Avoidance: The degree to which a caregiver avoids thoughts, places, people, or
other things that may remind them of
their work with trauma victims.
It is important to note that any mental health
disorder, including trauma-induced stress disorders, can only be diagnosed by a licensed
mental health professional.

Factors Impacting the Development of
Secondary Trauma
Scholarship in social work, counseling,
nursing, and K-12 education has identified
a number of factors that may contribute to
the development, or mitigation, of secondary traumatic stress (Baird & Kracen, 2006;
Cieslak et al., 2013; Crumpei & Dafinoiu, 2012;
Rzeszutek, Partyka, Golab, & Ronald, 2015).
These factors may be broadly categorized
as personal factors and work environment
factors. Personal factors that may increase the
likelihood for developing secondary trauma
include empathetic dispositions (Crumpei
& Dafinoiu, 2012), personal trauma history
(Baird & Kracen, 2006), and possession of one
or more historically marginalized identities
(Connally, 2012; Sorsoli, 2007). Additionally, a
caregiver's belief that they are able to support
trauma victims and cope with the demands of
their work, i.e., self-efficacy, has been linked

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - Intro
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