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Trauma-informed organizational culture: the prevention, reduction, and treatment of compassion fatigue




Handran, Joni, author
Gloeckner, Gene, advisor
Buchan, Victoria, advisor
Gandy, John, committee member
Makela, Carole, committee member

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Caregivers who provide services to trauma survivors are at high risk of developing secondary traumatic stress and burnout. Researchers and practitioners in the field of traumatology emphasize the role organizational culture has on individuals who provide services to trauma survivor's well-being. Although there is a considerable amount of theoretical literature on organizational culture and its effects on trauma-workers' well-being, there is a lack of empirical research. The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify what organizational characteristics influence trauma caregivers' compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction and to construct and provide validation for a measure of the role organizational culture has on caregivers. The measure is entitled the Trauma-Informed Organization Culture (TIOC) Survey. This study used data from a sample of 282 individuals who provide services to survivors of trauma including 67 animal control officers, 102 child, youth, and family service workers, and 113 individuals who work with the homeless. This research supports the literature and found several significant relationships between the independent and dependent variables. Organizational support and trauma-informed caregiver development were found to be strong predictor variables for burnout and secondary traumatic stress. Practical implications are provided addressing the roles that organizational support, supervisory support, peer support, and trauma-informed caregiver development have in the implementation of a trauma-informed system of care.


2013 Spring.
Includes bibliographical references.

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compassion fatigue
animal control officers
organizational culture
secondary traumatic stress


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