Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Criminal Justice

Degree Program

Criminal Justice, PhD

Committee Chair

Swartz, Kristin

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Keeling, Deborah

Committee Member

Keeling, Deborah

Committee Member

Campbell, Bradley

Committee Member

Armstrong, Gaylene

Author's Keywords

corrections; post traumatic stress disorder; trauma; violence; social support; Kentucky


The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and correlates of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomology among correctional staff, using a sample of staff who work in an adult facility for the Kentucky Department of Corrections (KY DOC). Participants (N=775) were asked to complete a written survey to indicate not only demographic variables (age, race, education, and gender) but also the amount of violent and traumatic events experienced, the duration of employment within the KY DOC, whether they were assigned to a custodial/security role, and whether they worked in a maximum security facility. Furthermore, their perceived level of social support was examined with participants providing information regarding their marital status/the presence of a significant other, family social support, supervisor social support, and coworker social support. Results indicated a 30.2% PTSD symptomology rate of concern. Analysis indicated that female staff, those with an assignment of security, and those working in a maximum security custody facility had higher rates of symptomology. Of the social support variables, family and coworker social support mitigated symptomology. Implications and future areas of research are discussed.

Included in

Criminology Commons