in In the Line of Fire

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780195165029
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864089 | DOI:

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The field of trauma response has been influenced by a number of theories that contribute to understanding. Stress theories consider the cumulative impact of working and living in stressful environments. Models for examining the influence of acute events include crisis theory, trauma theory, and secondary or vicarious trauma theory. As emergency responders work in complex organizations that have rules, norms, and cultures that also influence response to adverse events, occupational stress theory is also critical for a complete understanding. While each of these theories adds to our appreciation of the experiences of emergency service workers, they are too limited in providing a comprehensive understanding of the multiple forces that influence their response to events that occur on the job. This chapter reviews the ecological and population health frameworks in order to put trauma responses in the broad context of people’s lived experiences and use this broader understanding to direct efforts at intervention.

Keywords: stress theories; crisis theory; post-traumatic stress; acute stress; stress; occupational stress; vicarious trauma; secondary trauma; occupational health; ecological systems theory

Chapter.  8285 words.  Illustrated.

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