Vicarious trauma:predictors of clinicians' disrupted cognitions about self-esteem and self-intimacy

J Child Sex Abus. 2007;16(4):81-98. doi: 10.1300/j070v16n04_05.


This study examined vicarious trauma in clinicians who provide sexual abuse treatment (N = 383). A random sample of clinical members from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers and American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children were surveyed. Vicarious trauma was measured using the Trauma Stress Institute Belief Scale (Pearlman, 2003). Maltreatment was measured using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (Bernstein & Fink, 1998). Respondents reported high rates of childhood maltreatment. Simultaneous multiple regression analyses were used to examine relationships between gender, age, maltreatment history, and vicarious trauma. Male gender predicted greater disrupted cognitions about self-esteem and self-intimacy. Clinician age and childhood emotional neglect predicted greater disrupted cognitions about self-intimacy. Implications for education, practice, and research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control*
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / rehabilitation*
  • Crime Victims / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Self Concept*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States