Date of Conferral







Alethea Baker


Studies suggest that 8% to 20% of mental health providers struggle with secondary traumatic stress (STS), but the number of investigations evaluating psychologists' STS is limited. Furthermore, although literature on the effects of self-care practices on STS is vast, no studies have examined the role of such practices on U.S. psychologists' level of STS. Informed by Stamm's theory of professional quality of life, this study analyzed variations in 159 U.S. psychologists' STS and frequency of participation in spiritual-based self-care practices between different religious identity groups. This study also explored the effect of spiritual-based self-care on U.S. psychologists' STS. An exploratory nonexperimental cross-sectional design using Stamm's Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL-5) scale was employed to address these purposes. One-way between subject analysis of variance (ANOVA), Pearson's correlation, and multiple regressions helped answer the research questions. Nonreligious but spiritual psychologists endorsed more symptoms of STS than religious and nonreligious psychologists. However, the overall sample endorsed low levels of STS. Religious psychologists reported the highest frequency of participation in prayer and reading spiritual scriptures. Frequency of participation in spiritual-based self-care practices had no effect on participants' STS. Findings from the study may be used by psychologists to focus on STS prevention and maintain job satisfaction leading to positive social change.