How Coping Strategies, Spirituality, and Demographic Factors Mitigate the Effects of Vicarious Trauma
Quashie McKenzie, Bernice
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This study investigated hospice social workers' experience with vicarious trauma, and how coping and demographic factors moderate the experience. A secondary focus of the study examined the extent to which ways of coping (including spirituality) and specific demographic factors correlate with the incidence of vicarious trauma among hospice social workers. It was designed to contribute to the knowledge, and awareness of hospice social work, vicarious trauma and coping. The research was exploratory in nature, and of a quantitative orientation with a cross-sectional, correlational design. Data was collected from a non-randomized, convenience sample of hospice social workers employed in an organization that operates fifty-five hospice sites across twenty-one US states (located in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern, Northeastern, Southeastern and Southwestern regions). A battery of three testing instruments was utilized in this study. The main instrument of data collection for the dependent variable, vicarious trauma, was the Trauma and Attachment Belief Scale (TABS). The independent variables were measured by the Ways of Coping Questionnaire and a demographic information questionnaire. Data were analyzed using bivariate statistics which revealed relationships between independent and dependent variables; multivariate, regression analyses were also performed. Two hypotheses were supported, one partially supported and the other unsupported in this current research. Recommendations were propounded, and international hospice social work, as well as, implications for social work practice, education, policy, and research were explored.