Woodfield, Russell (2019) Profiling Trauma and the Associated Mental Health Outcomes in Prison Personnel. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Research has found that working within a prison environment can induce both stress and exposure to trauma, furthermore research has also highlighted the need for context specific trauma exposure measures in specified populations, the overall aim of the current thesis was to address such findings through the creation of a brief self-report measure that could be used to measure exposure to traumatic incidents and would also demonstrate predictive validity for a number of psychological conditions that have been shown to be an inherent part of prison associated work. The first empirical chapter sought to validate the Prison Personnel Trauma Measure (PPTM) designed specifically to measure trauma exposure in prison personnel. Utilising a sample of prison personnel based in England and Wales (N = 1995) dimensionality and construct validity of the PPTM were investigated using confirmatory factor analysis, which revealed that a three-factor model of the PPTM (self-harm/death, violent, and environmental trauma exposure) provided the best representation of the data. Good composite reliability and differential predictive validity for several outcomes were also observed. This measure was then applied in the subsequent chapters to examine the relationship between trauma exposure and PTSD, anxiety and depression symptomology. The second empirical chapter employed a latent profile analysis to identify meaningful subtypes of anxiety, depression and PTSD symptomology amongst prison personnel and estimate the association between anxiety, depression and PTSD class membership and typology of prison trauma exposure measured by the PPTM. Seven distinct classes were identified in male personnel and five distinct classes in female personnel. Multinomial logistic regression further revealed differentiations in class memberships and associations with typology of trauma exposure. The third empirical chapter investigated the moderating role of prison personnel’s years of service on the relationship between the three trauma factors of the PPTM and PTSD symptomology. Differential associations were identified between years of service, trauma and PTSD. Results showed specifically that years of service significantly moderated the effects of violent trauma exposure and PTSD. Furthermore, it was identified this moderation occurred specifically in male personnel but not in female personnel. Several implications for practice and intervention were identified and outlined, namely the potential for the PPTM to be utilised in the measurement of trauma exposure in prison personnel, by practitioners, researchers and prison organisations, as well as the identification of specific trauma variables that may cause the development of adverse psychological conditions. Further implications lie in the identification of specific variabilities between male and female personnel following specific prison trauma exposure.

FINAL THESIS - Woodfield.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 12 June 2025.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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