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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Researcher wellbeing and secondary trauma: A theoretical framework and protocol to improve practice and teaching

Skinner, Tina, Bloomfield-Utting, Jade, Geoghegan-Fittall, Sophie, Roberts, Nicola, Smith, Olivia, Sweetland, Saffy and Taylor, Helen (2023) Researcher wellbeing and secondary trauma: A theoretical framework and protocol to improve practice and teaching. In: Eurocrim2023, The Renaissance of European Criminology, 23rd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, 6-9 September 2023, Florence. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Research ethics procedures have substantially improved over the last three decades; but despite this researchers’ wellbeing is often overlooked in methods teaching and ethics committees. This is particularly concerning when researching topics that may cause secondary trauma for the researcher such as criminal offences or criminal justice responses. The British Psychological Society (2020) state that the symptoms of secondary trauma are alike to the symptoms of posttraumatic stress ‘disorder’ felt by a victim-survivor of a direct traumatic event. Secondary trauma can be experienced at any time in a research project, including interviews, coding quantitative/qualitative data, reviewing the literature or during policy campaigning. Symptoms of secondary trauma include distressing thoughts, avoidance, limited concentration/sleep, and alterations in mood. This paper draws on decades of research/teaching experience across a team of researchers (see Skinner et al, forthcoming), and a review of existent literature, to adapt Bronfenbrenner’s (1994, 2005) ecological model to aid understanding of how secondary trauma in research can be addressed and to develop a protocol to help individuals, managers/supervisors, institutions, national governments and international bodies reduce researcher risk and enhance their wellbeing.

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Depositing User: Nicola Roberts


Item ID: 16579
Official URL:

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ORCID for Nicola Roberts: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2023 10:12
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2023 10:12


Author: Nicola Roberts ORCID iD
Author: Tina Skinner
Author: Jade Bloomfield-Utting
Author: Sophie Geoghegan-Fittall
Author: Olivia Smith
Author: Saffy Sweetland
Author: Helen Taylor

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences


Social Sciences > Criminology

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