University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Secondary traumatic stress in police officers investigating childhood sexual abuse

Hurrell, A-K, Draycott, Simon and Andrews, L (2018) Secondary traumatic stress in police officers investigating childhood sexual abuse Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 41 (5). pp. 636-650.

[img] Text Traumatic Stress in Police Officers Investigating Childhood Sexual Abuse - minor revisions.docx - Accepted version Manuscript

Download (50kB)
[img] Text
PIJPSM-08-2016-0131.pdf - Proof
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (223kB)



Previous research has indicated that helping professionals working with traumatised individuals are susceptible to adverse effects which can be recognised as secondary traumatic stress (STS). The purpose of this paper is to explore STS in police officer’s investigating childhood sexual abuse (CSA) in the UK.


This study employed a cross-sectional, quantitative design. An online questionnaire was completed by 101 Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU) police officers in England and Wales. STS, coping strategies, anxiety, depression and demographic information was collected for all participants.


It was indicated that increased exposure to CSA, measured by number of interviews in the past six months, was associated with higher levels of STS. Positive coping strategies, negative coping strategies, anxiety and depression all had a strong, positive relationship with STS.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is a first step to understanding STS in CAIU police officers in the England and Wales. This area of research remains under-developed and would benefit from further attention in the future.


This is the first known study of its kind in the UK.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Hurrell, A-K
Andrews, L
Date : 2018
DOI : 10.1108/PIJPSM-08-2016-0131
Copyright Disclaimer : © Emerald Publishing Limited 2018 Published by Emerald Publishing Limited Licensed re-use rights only
Uncontrolled Keywords : Stress, Police, Trauma, Investigation, Child sexual abuse, Sex-offenders
Depositing User : Users 8 not found.
Date Deposited : 16 May 2018 09:04
Last Modified : 06 Jul 2019 05:25

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800