Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Stephen Shirk

Keywords

Qualitative, Trauma, Youth

Abstract

During adolescence, peers become increasingly important sources of social support for youth. In addition to discussing the trials and tribulations of daily life, it is possible that youth are having intimate conversations concerning their experiences of trauma. This study examined the types of traumatic experiences disclosed to youth by their friends, youth's experiences of supporting a friend following disclosure of trauma, youth's secondary traumatic stress (STS) reactions to their friends' disclosures, and potential risk factors for the development of STS. The validity of an adult measure of STS, the Secondary Trauma Scale, with an adolescent population was also explored. Utilizing qualitative and quantitative research methods, 60 youth (ages 11-16) participated in a semi-structured interview and completed questionnaires. Results suggest the preliminary validity of the Secondary Trauma Scale for use with adolescents. Additionally, increased levels of positive and negative affect were associated with increased levels of STS and general traumatic distress. Furthermore, females reported more general posttraumatic symptomatology than males, while youth indirectly exposed to a friend's interpersonal trauma reported more symptoms of STS compared to youth indirectly exposed to a friend's noninterpersonal trauma. Implications for the development of programs to educate youth about peer helping and self-care strategies are discussed.

Provenance

Recieved from ProQuest

Rights holder

Lindsay E. Smart

File size

111 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Clinical psychology

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