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A Study of Trauma and Resiliency Among Forensic Examiners Investigating Child Pornography

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Past Project Period End Date
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $886,821)

The goal of this project is to inform criminal justice efforts to advance resiliency and promote wellness for forensic examiners whose job is to search for and classify large quantities of child pornography (CP) images stored on digital media. This project proposes to: 1) examine the impact of work-related exposure to CP on forensic examinersÂ’ stress, mental and physical health, and on their relationships; 2) gather information about current agency-level practices and training that may mitigate trauma and promote resilience among forensic examiners exposed to CP; 3) analyze whether individual- and agency-level factors buffer the impact of exposure to CP images on health and relationships; and 4) develop a screening instrument to help agencies assess staff suitability for investigations requiring exposure to CP.

The applicant will partner with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) Training and Technical Assistance Program. This project is composed of four (4) phases. First, the applicant proposes to design a study of procedures to examine work-related exposure and independent and agency-level practices. In the second phase, applicants will disseminate a survey on agency-level policies, practices, and training (n=61; ICAC Commanders). The third phase will disseminate an examiner-level survey (n=1000; 500 CP & 500 non-CP). The online data collection instrument will include a combination of established scales that measure job satisfaction, stress, burnout, mental and physical health, etc., as well as specific items that measure the nature of the crimes and investigations under examination. In the final phase, applicants will develop a screening instrument for new CP examiners based on Phase 3 data. Applicants will also get feedback on the screener from Phase 2 participants.

"Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

Date Created: September 21, 2019