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Home > Arhiva > 2018 > Numar: 3 > The prevalence of Secondary Traumatic Stress among Romanian Social Workers: a Replication Study

 The prevalence of Secondary Traumatic Stress among Romanian Social Workers: a Replication Study

  • Loreni Baciu (West University of Timisoara, No. 4th Vasile Parvan Boulevard, Timisoara, Timis county, tel. no. 0040256592348, E-mail:
  • Delia Vîrgă (West University of Timisoara, Faculty of Sociology and Psychology, No. 4th V. Pârvan Boulevard, Timişoara, România, E-mail:

In the current article, we present the results of an investigation aimed at assessing the prevalence of Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) in a sample of Romanian social workers. The investigation methodology and the interpretation of results followed closely the study protocol described by Bride (2007), in the original study, conducted on U.S. social workers. In order to assess the prevalence of STS, we examined the frequency of individual symptoms; the frequency with which diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were met; and the severity of STS levels. Regarding the STS symptomatology, the results of this study show that the Intrusion criterion was endorsed by three-quarters of the respondents, whereas the avoidance was endorsed by one-third and arousal by close to half of the sample. Regarding STS diagnosing, our results show that the percentage of persons that present significant STS levels vary between 23.1% and 26.4% of the sample. In turn, 20.3% of respondents did not meet any PTSD criteria. A comparison between the results of the current study and the original one shows markedly higher levels of STS among Romanian social workers. The article can be an opportunity to open a much-needed discussion about the necessity of systemic incorporation of risk management programs in the operations of the social service agencies, to protect the social workers from the emotional and psychological hazards that are specific to the social work profession.

Keywords: social workers, Secondary Traumatic Stress, Secondary trauma, replication study