Date of Conferral







Jay Greiner


Mass shootings are devastating events that occur in many communities in the United States. Mass shootings bring significant psychological distress and contribute to the development of trauma. The communities affected by mass shootings rely on an effective and efficient response from first responders who assist survivors by providing psychological and physical assistance. Because first responders are the first to deal with the aftermath of mass shootings, they assume immediate secondary trauma. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to examine whether a statistically significant relationship existed between the independent variables of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and the three dimensions of burnout (Maslach Burnout Inventory [MBI] emotional exhaustion, MBI depersonalization, and MBI personal achievement) and the dependent variable of life satisfaction among first responders who responded to a mass shooting. The hedonic treadmill model, the cognitive model of PTSD, the emotion dysregulation model of anxiety, and a multidimensional theory of burnout provided the framework for the study. Survey data were collected from 105 first responders. Multiple linear regression was used to examine and describe the relationships between the independent variables and outcome variable. Results revealed statistically significant relationships between PTSD, anxiety, MBI emotional exhaustion, MBI depersonalization, MBI personal achievement, and life satisfaction of first responders. Leaders of agencies that employ first responders may use the findings to target mental health stigma among first responders and to promote mental health literacy in the workplace leading to positive social change.