The present study adds to past research on exposure to disturbing media as a driver of burnout and secondary traumatic stress. Research has shown that exposure to this type of media can lead to secondary traumatic stress (STS), burnout, as well as other negative outcomes (Burns, Bradshaw, Morley, & Domene, 2008; Divine, 2010; Krause, 2009; Perez, Jones, Englert, & Sachau, 2010; Stevenson, 2007). In addition, I discuss this type of work as a form of "dirty work" (Ashforth & Kreiner, 1999). I examined the role of various emotional responses and stigma as mediators and moderators of the relationship between exposure and STS and burnout. It was found that neither the number or cases nor length of time working with disturbing media cases (child pornography and sexual violence) were related to STS, burnout, or emotions, contrary to the findings of past research (Divine, 2010; Perez, et al. 2010). However, emotions were related to the negative outcomes, suggesting they play a role in the development of burnout and STS.


Lisa M. Perez

First Committee Member

Kristie L. Campana

Second Committee Member

Jeffrey B. Bumgarner

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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