Predictors of secondary traumatic stress

The study selected by this writer examines predictors of secondary traumatic stress and burnout in child welfare workers from across the country (Sprang, Craig, & Clark, 2011).  The study sampled 669 professionals to ascertain possible predictors indicative of specific workers and exposure characteristics. The findings of this study aim to provide child welfare workers with self-care strategies and child welfare agencies with trauma-informed research to address secondary trauma and burnout. The researchers used a bivariate analysis (gender) and a one-way ANOVA (Race: Hispanic and White).

The author used an ANOVA because a difference in mean was detected between race (Independent Variable). A one-way ANOVA was performed post hoc because the researchers wanted to determine the variance between the races with Hispanics reporting significantly (p<0.05) more instances of compassion fatigue that White respondents. The one-way ANOVA was appropriate because there was only one independent and dependent variable being tested. The goal was to determine the difference between Hispanics and Whites as it relates to compassion fatigue. The data were displayed in numerous tables to depict the statistical findings.

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The results of this study are beneficial in expanding the current knowledge regarding the professional quality of life for CW workers. The results can stand alone because they help to identify predictors of secondary traumatic stress and burnout and highlights particular challenges facing the child welfare workforce. From the data, researchers can ascertain being young, male, Hispanic, and in a rural area with no endorsement of religious participation may lead to higher instances of compassion fatigue and burnout. The effect size was not specifically reported, but the researchers did report significance between Hispanics and Whites and between males and females in relation to compassion fatigue and burnout. The study, however, may not be meaningful because the generalization to the population is limited based on the sampling method. The respondents were selected from licensing and certification boards and depended on self-reports to the measure used to test for burnout and compassion fatigue. The sample size was small and does not encompass the population as it excludes workers who are not licensed or certified but who are also affected by secondary trauma, burn out, and compassion fatigue. The research has statistical significance and expands on the knowledge known of the subject, but it may not be meaningful in a practical sense.


Sprang, G., Craig, C., & Clark, J. (2011). Secondary Traumatic Stress and Burnout in Child Welfare Workers: A Comparative Analysis of Occupational Distress Across Professional Groups. Child Welfare, 90(6), 149–168. Retrieved from

Pease answer the following:

  1. Make recommendations for the design choice.
  2. Explain whether you think that this is the appropriate ANOVA test to use for the research question. Why or why not?
  3. As a lay reader, were you able to understand the results and their implications? Why or why not?

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