Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

The Effect of Attorneys' Work With Trauma-Exposed Clients on PTSD Symptoms, Depression, and Functional Impairment: A Cross-Lagged Longitudinal Study

Andrew Levin, Avi Besser, Linda Albert, Deborah Smith and Yuval Neria
Law and Human Behavior
Vol. 36, No. 6 (December 2012), pp. 538-547
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43586880
Page Count: 10
  • More info
  • Cite this Item
The Effect of Attorneys' Work With Trauma-Exposed Clients on PTSD Symptoms, Depression, and Functional Impairment: A Cross-Lagged Longitudinal Study
Preview not available

Abstract

To date, few studies have examined mental health consequences among attorneys exposed to clients' traumatic experiences. A longitudinal, 2-wave, cross-lagged study was used in a cohort of attorneys (N = 107) from the Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office. We assessed changes in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and functional impairment over a 10-month period and tested the effects of intensity of contact with trauma-exposed clients on symptom levels over time. Attorneys demonstrated strong and significant symptom stability over time in PTSD, depression, functional impairment, and levels of exposure. Analyses involving cross-lagged panel correlation structural equation modeling path models revealed that attorneys' levels of exposure to trauma-exposed clients had significant positive effects, over time, on PTSD, depression, and functional impairment. Gender, age, years on the job, and office size did not predict any of the outcomes. Level of exposure to trauma-exposed clients predicted reduction of weekly working hours over time, but there was no reciprocal relationship between PTSD, depression, and functional impairment and level of exposure over time. These findings underscore the central role of exposure to trauma-exposed clients in predicting mental health outcomes and emphasize the need to support attorneys by managing the intensity of exposure as well as addressing emerging symptoms.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
538
    538
  • Thumbnail: Page 
539
    539
  • Thumbnail: Page 
540
    540
  • Thumbnail: Page 
541
    541
  • Thumbnail: Page 
542
    542
  • Thumbnail: Page 
543
    543
  • Thumbnail: Page 
544
    544
  • Thumbnail: Page 
545
    545
  • Thumbnail: Page 
546
    546
  • Thumbnail: Page 
547
    547