This study used an ex-post facto survey for data collection and structural equation modeling for data analysis to explore the combined relationship of psychological capital and social capital on the severity of second victim syndrome experienced by registered nurses. Specifically, this study sought to answer the following research question “To what extent does the relationship between psychological capital and social capital combine to predict the severity of SVS experienced by registered nurses following a precipitating event?” A second research question, aimed at explicating the relationships between the subconstructs of the three constructs of interest was “What are the relationships between the subconstructs of psychological capital, social capital and second victim syndrome?”The online survey consisted of three instruments: the Psychological Capital Questionnaire, the Social Capital Outcomes for Nurses, and the Second Victim Syndrome Experience and Support Tool. Following data cleaning, there were 1167 surveys with sufficient data for analysis via SPSS v25 and 999 cases with full data for SEM analysis via AMOS v25. First, correlational analyses were conducted. Based on these results, multiple structural equation models were created and tested.The structural equation models demonstrated that psychological capital, on its own, had no effect on the severity of second victim syndrome. However, social capital, on its own, had a statistically significant effect on the severity of second victim syndrome. Moreover, the combined effect of social capital and psychological capital on second victim syndrome was statistically significant. Stated another way, the combined effect of psychological capital and social capital predict the severity of second victim syndrome experienced by registered nurses. Specifically, social capital impacts nurses’ psychological capital, and this combined effect inversely impacts the severity of second victim syndrome. The results of this study have practical implications that include unit-based peer support programs and an increased focus on supportive workplace cultures. Programmatic efforts should also focus on social capital at the team level as well as the importance of building self-efficacy through increasing mastery experiences, modeling of behavior, social persuasion and monitoring one’s physiological responses.
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