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Contents & Abstracts
Volume 2005-2

The Australasian Journal of Disaster
and Trauma Studies
ISSN:  1174-4707
Volume : 2005-2

Editorial : Positive adaptation to disaster and traumatic consequences: Resilience and readiness
by Douglas Paton


Workplace violence experienced by paramedics: Relationships with social support, job satisfaction, and psychological strain
by Paula Brough

Keywords: Workplace violence, paramedics, psychological strain, job satisfaction, social support

The increased incidences of workplace violence perpetrated against paramedics (ambulance officers) are of concern and have resulted in revisions of organisational support, training, and operational practices. The current research investigated the types of violent incidents experienced by 119 Australian paramedics during their operational duties. Verbal violence directed against the paramedics was encountered frequently, while physically violent incidents were encountered occasionally. These occupational experiences directly predicted adverse levels of job satisfaction but not psychological strain. Supervisor and colleague support directly predicted job satisfaction. Supervisor support also moderated psychological strain for the officers experiencing verbal violence. Organisational implications focusing on training provisions and recommendations for future research in this area are discussed.

Link to full paper

Waves of Violence - Women in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka
by Susan Rees, Eileen Pittaway & Linda Bartolomei

Keywords: Gender, Violence, Tsunami, Sri Lanka, Disaster, Women

Natural disasters do not exist in isolation from the social and cultural constructs that marginalize women and place them at risk of violence. In fact, there is evidence that violence against women increases in the wake of colossal disasters and that the increased risk is associated with gender inequality and the limited representation of women in disaster responses (Enarson,2000; OXFAM, 2005). This paper describes a community based and developed program intended to support women and to reduce the incidence of sexual and gender based violence in post-tsunami Sri Lanka. Preliminary data from the project is used to highlight some of the needs of women, as well as the challenges in addressing gender-based violence and marginalisation. Strengthening communities, and renewing social support networks for women in a post-disaster context is reliant on programs such as this to bring women together, identify needs and response strategies, formally document violations, and to centralise the social and political involvement of women in addressing abuse and inequality immediately and in the long term.

Link to full paper

The “Rescue Personality”: Fact or Fiction?
by Shannon L. Wagner

Keywords: emergency services, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, traumatic event, personality, rescue, fire, police, ambulance

Emergency response work is known to be an especially difficult and emotional profession. Given the emotional nature of this work, an intervention called the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) has been developed as a method of diffusing the stress related to the experience of a critical incident. One of the fundamental tenets for the use of the CISD is a homogenous group of participants. Specifically, within the emergency services this homogeneity is, in part, reflected in what has been termed a “rescue personality”; a personality that is assumed to characterize the type of individual who chooses rescue-related work. Currently, there is little evidence for a distinct personality type that is reflective of emergency service workers as a whole.

Link to full paper

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