Date of Conferral







Mitchell Hicks


Medical interpreter services will be essential for developing and implementing culturally relevant interventions and treatment for limited English proficiency (LEP) populations. This study sought to identify the possible risks or protective factors that may be associated with vicarious traumatization (VT) or vicarious posttraumatic growth among medical interpreters in behavioral health settings. A 2-step cluster analysis was conducted yielding 2 distinct groupings of medical interpreters (Subtype 1, n = 73; Subtype 2, n = 101). The most important predictor determining the 2 subtypes was whether the participant had a personal history of trauma. In addition, there were significant differences between the 2 subtypes among the following variables: Trauma and Attachment Belief Scale T-scores of VT; years as a medical interpreter; years as a behavioral health medical interpreter; level of education as it relates to interpreting; personal history of trauma; personal or family history similar to any of the trauma survivors served in the past year; specific mental health training; sought personal therapy related to exposure to traumatic material from work environment; current relationship status; race; and whether spoken, sign, or both spoken and sign language interpretation was provided. The results of this quantitative study further support the constructivist self-development theory where VT is the result of the accumulated effects of repeated exposure to trauma material in combination with the person of the provider. Understanding these risk and protective factors will continue to support the provision of effective treatment of LEP individuals in behavioral health settings and the ongoing professional development of behavioral health medical interpreters.