Future role aspirations, achievement motivations and perceptions of personal help-seeking among humanitarian aid trainees

Kelsey Skeoch, Garry J. Stevens, Melanie Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Humanitarian aid workers experience adverse mental health effects from their work at higher rates than the military, police and other emergency service personnel. Whilst there is considerable literature investigating risk and resilience
factors for workers within this field, little is known about the status of such factors among individuals prior to their joining the profession. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten commencing undergraduates of a Bachelor of Humanitarian and Development Studies course to explore their aspirations and resilience factors regarding future work. Thematic analysis identified that whilst there was a high level of reported altruism among trainees, these perceptions appeared to constrain individual use of social support networks and help-seeking behaviours. Education and training appeared to shift future work preferences from humanitarian relief work towards development-related roles. The findings suggest that humanitarian aid trainees exhibit known risk and resilience factors before they enter the profession, whilst highlighting practice expectations and personal support perceptions that are amenable to positive change through training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of International Humanitarian Action
Volume2
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • humanitarian aid workers
  • mental health
  • training
  • social support
  • help-seeking
  • risk
  • resilience

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