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ERIC Number: ED530721
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 129
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1246-9258-6
The Comparative Effectiveness of Levels of Training and Years of Work Experience in Firefighters as Determining Factors in the Development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Turner, Melva W.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been known by other names and not well studied prior to returning Vietnam veterans who suffered psychological dysfunction. However, the term PTSD became part of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders in 1981. Since that time PTSD has been researched extensively in veterans. However, little attention has been given to firefighters who encounter trauma on a daily basis compared to veterans who may have experienced traumatic events during war or intermittently. Since firefighters are vital to society for rescue and recovery, it is salient that they remain mentally as well as physically fit for duty. PTSD can be debilitating and even result in early retirement or the change of occupation. Hence, determining the risk and resilience factors against the development of PTSD in firefighters may prevent premature retirement or job change. Although some form of brief intervention may be offered to firefighters after a traumatic event, more extensive counseling may be necessary. Knowing the risk factors prior to facing a distressful event may prompt additional counseling subsequent to trauma and ultimately prevent severe or chronic PTSD that may interfere with the duties of these emergency workers. This research compared levels of training and work experience in 127 male firefighters who ranged in age from 21 to 57 who were primarily Caucasian (63.8%). African-Americans comprised 26.8%, Asians 1.6%, Hispanics 1.6%, and Puerto Rican 0.8%. The researcher investigated the relationship between levels of training and work experience on self-efficacy and ultimately the effect self-efficacy has on the manifestation of PTSD symptoms. This study extends previous research that shows when self-efficacy increases, psychological dysfunctioning decreases (Heinrichs, Wagner, Schoch, Soravia, Hellhammer, & Ehlert, 2005). A retrospective causal-comparative design also referred to as an ex post facto design was employed to examine years of training and work experience and their association to self-efficacy. Next, self-efficacy was investigated to look at its effects on symptoms of PTSD. Findings from the study found no significant difference in the relationships between levels of training and self-efficacy or between years of work experience and self-efficacy. However, the study did support prior research that showed a statistical negative correlation between self-efficacy and symptoms of PTSD. Hence, when self-efficacy increased, symptoms of PTSD decreased. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A