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The Measurement of Occupationally-Related Stress Response Syndromes in Counseling Graduate Students Open Access

The primary aim of this study was to explore the existence of Occupationally-Related Stress Response Syndromes (OSRS) in a population of counseling graduate students in an attempt to better understand how novice clinicians respond to working with trauma. The second goal was to utilize the data collected to examine the factor structure of the Clinicians' Trauma Reaction Survey (CTRS) to see if it would remain invariant when testing a new sample. The final goal was to examine the construct validity of the CTRS to see if it was unique in its measurement of emotional distress. A cross-sectional research design was used.Overall, this study confirmed the presence of OSRS in a novice sample. Levels of different types of OSRS (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Vicarious Trauma, Compassion Fatigue, Affect Dysregulation, Personal Reactions, Boundary Issues and Countertransference) were found to be comparable to and often higher than the experienced sample. Interestingly, this study also found that the factor structure for the CTRS did not remain invariant when used with a novice sample. Both the 5-factor confirmatory factor analysis and a 1-factor exploratory factor analysis results did not provide adequate model fit suggesting the CTRS does not have good psychometric utility with novice counselors. In addition, there was minimal evidence to support the construct validity of the CTRS with only three significant correlations identified. Future areas of research include a study replication with a larger and more diverse sample, additional study of the CTRS's psychometric utility, and further exploration into how the measurement of OSRS is different between novice and experienced clinicians.

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