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Open Access Research article

Posttraumatic Growth and Related Factors of Child Protective Service Workers

Young Sun Rhee1, Young Bin Ko2 and In Young Han2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Administration and Social Welfare, Chosun University, Kwangju, South Korea

2 Department of Social welfare, Ewha womans University, Seoul, South korea

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Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2013, 25:6  doi:10.1186/2052-4374-25-6

Published: 21 May 2013



The aim of the study is to measure the level of vicarious trauma, posttraumatic growth (PTG), and other factors affecting PTG among child protective service workers.


We include posttraumatic stress, social support, stress coping, and demographic data as independent variables. Data was collected from 255 full-time social workers from 43 child protective agencies as acomplete enumeration and 204 included in the final analysis.


The major findings of the study were as follows: The mean score of PTG was 44.09 (SD:21.73). Hierarchical multiple regression was adopted and "pursuing social support as a way of coping with stress" was the strongest predictive factor (β=0.319, p<0.001) of PTG.


We suggest that child protective workers are vulnerable to posttraumatic stress and mental health services are indicated. We also recommend various types of training for stress coping program, especially strengthening the social support system of the child protective service workers in South Korea.

Posttraumatic growth; Vicarious trauma; Coping strategy; Social support