Chapter

<i>ARE YOU COMING HOME TONIGHT?</i>

CHERYL REGEHR and TED BOBER

in In the Line of Fire

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780195165029
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864089 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195165029.003.0008
 ARE YOU COMING HOME TONIGHT?

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Families of responders are also significantly affected by their loved one’s choice of work. Daily stressors include coping with shift work, and long and unpredictable hours that can interfere with family activities, and undermine their sense of support. Added to this is the constant fear for the emergency responder’s safety. When critical events occur, these fears are heightened. Over time, the coping strategies employed by emergency responders can cause additional stress on families. One result of exposure to trauma described by workers was that they at times felt disengaged and emotionally distant from family members. Another issue was generalized anger and irritability that was often vented on family. Further, responders described generalized fears for the safety of family members and a tendency to become overprotective. Alternately, other responders described the way that exposure to traumatic events caused them to re-evaluate and value family relationships in a more positive manner. Strategies for family survival are discussed.

Keywords: shift work; marriage; family; spouse; trauma contagion; family survival; emotional numbing; social support; over protective

Chapter.  5470 words. 

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