Burnout and secondary trauma among forensic interviewers

Destinee Starcher, Stacia N. Stolzenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Child Advocacy Centers provide a child-friendly environment for the forensic interview and subsequent investigation of child victimization cases. However, very little research has examined the effects of burnout, secondary trauma and organizational stressors on forensic interviewers. The present study examined the following research questions. To what extent do forensic interviewers experience burnout and secondary trauma associated with their profession? How do organizational stressors increase these outcomes among interviewers? Data were collected by conducting an online survey of interviewers working at Child Advocacy Centers across the United States. Results indicate burnout and secondary trauma among interviewers in this sample. Decreased job support, increased funding constraints and heavy agency caseloads all result in burnout and secondary trauma. Policy recommendations include continued training and mental health services for interviewers. Future researchers should conduct qualitative interviews and examine how other factors, such as forensic interviewing protocols, influence interviewers' job experience and mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)924-934
Number of pages11
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • burnout
  • child abuse
  • forensic interviewers
  • mental health
  • secondary trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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