Vicarious trauma

The impact on solicitors of exposure to traumatic material

Petar Lila Vrklevski, John Franklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)


This study explored vicarious trauma in the legal profession. A random sample of male and female criminal law (n = 50) and noncriminal law (n = 50) solicitors completed a research pack containing the following questionnaires: a demographic questionnaire; Vicarious Trauma Scale; Satisfaction With Work Scale; Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales; Impact of Event Scale-Revised; and Trauma and Attachment Belief Scale. Criminal lawyers reported significantly higher levels of subjective distress and vicarious trauma, depression, stress, and cognitive changes in relation to self-safety, other safety, and other intimacy. No significant differences were found between the two groups on measures of satisfaction with work or coping strategies in relation to work-related distress. Multiple trauma history was associated with higher scores on measures of symptomatic distress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-118
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

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