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Stress at the crisis line : investigating the wellbeing of crisis line volunteers

Nijhof, N. (2020) Stress at the crisis line : investigating the wellbeing of crisis line volunteers.

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Abstract:Background. Previous studies showed no clear results for the prevalence of declined mental wellbeing in crisis line volunteers. The studies that were conducted on the issue often used a qualitative design or did not use validated instruments. Moreover, comprehensive, theory-based research into the factors that influence wellbeing in crisis line volunteers is lacking. Aim. This study examined the prevalence of Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) and Engagement in crisis line volunteers and which factors, based on the Job-Demands-Resources-Model, influence these. This study focused on self-compassion as a personal resource and examined whether self-compassion (1) predicts STS and Engagement. Whether self-compassion (2) moderates the relationship between Job Demands and STS and (3) moderates the relationship between Job Resources and Engagement. Methods. In the current study a survey was completed by 543 Dutch volunteers at de Luisterlijn. Intercorrelations between variables of the Job Demands Resources Model were assessed by pearson-correlations. Regression analyses were conducted to examine to what extent Job Demands, Job Resources, and Self-compassion could predict STS and Engagement. The PROCESS-macro for SPSS was used to conduct a moderation analysis. Results. The results showed that crisis line volunteers experienced low secondary traumatic stress levels and high engagement levels. Intercorrelations show that STS was most significantly related to higher Job Demands (r=.28 and r=.29) and lower self-compassion (r=-.27) and that Engagement was most significantly related to higher Job Resources (r=.34 and r=.35) and lower Caller-related Stress (r=-.25). A multiple linear regression analysis demonstrated that variables of Job Demands and Job Resources could explain 11% of total variance in STS and could explain 20% of total variance in Engagement. Self-compassion could increase the total variance with 3% in STS but none in Engagement. There was no evidence that the relation between STS and the variables of the Job Demands was moderated by self-compassion. Conclusion. Studies often report high secondary traumatic stress levels perceived by crisis line volunteers whereas this study demonstrated low secondary traumatic stress levels. For further research it is advisable to: investigate the relationship between self-compassion and the Job Demands Resources Model on a longer period of time, to conduct more quantitative research on identification of factors influencing wellbeing of crisis line volunteers and decrease their secondary traumatic stress and to include different crisis line organisations in order to investigate the differences in the experience of secondary traumatic stress perceived by crisis line workers.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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