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Trauma and Coping Mechanisms Exhibited by Forensic Science Practitioners: A Literature Review

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International: Synergy Volume: 2 Dated: 2020 Pages: 310-316
Date Published
7 pages

Although this literature review is not exhaustive of all literature on vicarious trauma (VT), it showcases key studies and research gaps that could benefit the forensic science community and associated criminal justice system professionals.


Vicarious trauma (VT) has been studied in mental health experts for over 30 years due to their engagement with victims of trauma and exposure to details of events, crimes, and tragedies experienced by their patients. Recently, VT studies have been extended to first responders as they also engage with victims on a level which may affect their own well-being. First responders involved in the criminal justice system, such as law enforcement personnel, have benefited from these studies, because the results have helped drive organizational change; however, other professionals throughout the criminal justice system, such as forensic scientists, have had far fewer studies published, and the awareness of VT they may be experiencing has only recently come to light. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2020