Secondary Traumatic Stress and Burnout among Law Enforcement Investigators Exposed to Disturbing Media Images
This study examines the psychological impact of viewing disturbing media on investigators engaged in computer forensics work. Twenty-eight federal law enforcement personnel who investigate Internet child pornography cases completed measures of secondary traumatic stress disorder (STSD) and burnout. Substantial percentages of investigators reported poor psychological well-being. Greater exposure to disturbing media was related to higher levels of STSD and cynicism. STSD and burnout scores were related to increased protectiveness of family, reliance on co-workers, general distrust, and turnover intentions. On a positive note, investigators scored high in professional efficacy, indicating they feel their work makes a difference. Furthermore, personnel with supportive relationships scored lower on both STSD and burnout.
Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Perez, L., Jones, J., Englert, D., & Sachau, D. (2010). Secondary Traumatic Stress and Burnout among Law Enforcement Investigators Exposed to Disturbing Media Images. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 25(2), 113-124. doi: 10.1007/s11896-010-9066-7
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Copyright © 2010 Springer. Article published by Springer in Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, volume 25, issue number 2, October 2010, pages 113-124. Available online: