Anticipation of handling the dead: effects of gender and experience

Br J Clin Psychol. 1993 Nov;32(4):466-8. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8260.1993.tb01082.x.


In addition to the direct psychological effects of disaster stressors, anticipation of stress can itself be debilitating. We examined the relationship between the anticipated stress of handling the dead and gender and experience. Experienced persons had lower anticipated stress than inexperienced persons. Inexperienced, females had higher anticipated stress than inexperienced males; experienced males and females did not differ. Results provide support for an 'inoculation' theory of stress buffering in disaster workers.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Arousal
  • Attitude to Death*
  • Cadaver*
  • Disasters
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Practice, Psychological
  • Relief Work*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*