Ginny Sprang

Ginny Sprang
University of Kentucky | UKY · College of Medicine

Ph.D.

About

149
Publications
94,105
Reads
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3,376
Citations
Introduction
I conduct translational research on traumatic stress in children and adolescents, child maltreatment, and secondary traumatic stress. This includes mechanistic studies, clinical intervention research, intervention development, participatory action research and implementation studies. I run a Secondary Traumatic Stress Practice Lab at the University of Kentucky and post updates on this site.
Additional affiliations
August 1995 - present
University of Kentucky
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • tenured 2001

Publications

Publications (149)
Article
Full-text available
The complex symptom profiles of young children with histories of trauma exposure underscore the importance of matching individual child characteristics and symptom needs with existing evidence-based treatment protocols. Children (N = 134) between the ages of 2–12 and their caregivers were administered the Child Behavioral Checklist, Trauma Symptom...
Article
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Background Many decades of research demonstrates that the presence of and perceived quality of the parent–child bond can impact a child's health, mental health, and interpersonal trajectory for a lifetime (Weinfield, Sroufe, Egeland, & Carlson, 1999 Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications. New York: Guilford Press, 68; L...
Article
Evidence-based treatments exist to address traumatic stress related symptoms for children, however dropout from trauma-focused treatment remains a concern. This study examined use of an alliance building dropout management program for a group of children ages 3–17 who received an evidence-based trauma-focused treatment. Logistic regression analysis...
Article
Background: Child labor trafficking is a largely unexplored and unpublished phenomenon in the United States. Objective: To 1) characterize the state of the science on child labor trafficking, and 2) identify empirical information regarding risk and protective factors, and physical/behavioral health needs of labor-trafficked children/adolescents....
Article
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Trauma-informed practices in schools are designed to address the impacts of trauma on students and increase supports for school personnel who are delivering this care The impact of a trauma-informed school-based intervention. Journal of Adolescence, 43, 142–147, Mendelsonet al., 2015. Research has established that professionals trained to implement...
Article
Objective: This study examines the relationships between multiple COVID-19 related stressors and experiences of secondary traumatic stress (STS) and burnout (BO). Method: This sample (N = 550) of professionals and caregivers from a foster care system in the United States completed an online survey regarding their experiences of COVID-19 related...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to better understand how youth with poly-trauma histories appraise and make meaning of their traumatic experiences within the trauma narrative and processing components of Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and to explore the results of the meaning-making process. Thematic analysis was employed to ex...
Article
Background Research is needed to facilitate better understanding of how different groups have been impacted by COVID-19, especially those in already strained service systems such as foster care. These inquiries will support further response, recovery and preparedness efforts. Objective This qualitative study addressed how professionals and caregiv...
Article
Objective Current tools available to assess secondary traumatic stress (STS) do not account for whether the symptoms are functionally related to indirect trauma, determine functional impairment caused by the STS symptoms, and/or consider the duration of the disturbance. This prevents delineation of various expressions of traumatic stress related to...
Article
Though secondary traumatic stress has been researched extensively among professionals working with youth in diverse professions, there is limited information about judicial experiences working with trafficked youth. This qualitative study involves 82 interviews with juvenile and family court judges to understand the impact of indirect trauma exposu...
Article
Objectives: Current best practice approaches suggest that to address secondary traumatic stress (STS) a two-pronged perspective that considers individual and organizational factors over time is warranted. However, research documenting the impact of organizational efforts on individual experience with STS is lacking. In this study, it was hypothesiz...
Article
Objective: Gender differences in the development and severity of PTSD have long been observed, but much less is known about gender differences within the context of trauma-focused treatment. This study investigated gender differences in the PTSD symptoms of polytraumatized youth during Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Method:...
Article
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Context: Rates of traumatization among residential child welfare professionals are alarmingly high. The well-being of these professionals is associated both with their intention to stay in their jobs and outcomes of children in their care. Several risk factors threaten the well-being of child welfare professionals, including primary and secondary e...
Article
Juvenile and family court judges are a professional group that have a significant amount of decision‐making power in cases of sex trafficking of minors. The purpose of this project is to examine the association of juvenile and family court judges’ gender, race, and U.S. region with their attitudes and knowledge about sex trafficking of minors. Draw...
Article
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Intimate partner and sexual violence (IPV and SV) remain significant public health problems for young women and men, and both IPV and SV have short and long-term psychological and physical health impacts for all. Through consistent direction and support from Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), IP...
Article
The role of caring for traumatized individuals has been widely recognized as having inherent risks for secondary exposure to trauma and associated distress. Child welfare work in particular has been found to be an occupation where indirect exposure to trauma is especially prevalent as are related experiences of secondary traumatic stress (STS) and...
Article
The passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) facilitated the conceptual shift in reframing youth involved in sex trafficking as victims, rather than criminals. Many states have passed legislation in the form of Safe Harbor laws to protect sex trafficked juveniles from criminal charges and provide rehabilitative services (Polaris, 20...
Article
In order to improve access to and utilization of high-quality children’s mental health services, there have been considerable efforts to disseminate evidence-based treatments (EBTs) into community-based settings. However, these efforts have not always led to successful use of interventions overtime, and further understanding of how organizational a...
Article
Sexual violence perpetration (SVP), including coerced, physically forced, and alcohol- or drug-facilitated unwanted sex, occurs frequently in adolescence and may represent a risk factor for future perpetration. Sexual violence victimization (SVV) has been found to be a risk factor for increased rates of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder...
Article
Background: Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) has been established as an evidence-based treatment for youth with traumatic stress symptoms. The versatility of TF-CBT in conjunction with its established effectiveness has led to its widespread dissemination. However, dissemination efforts have not always translated into sustainab...
Article
Background: Safe harbor laws have been implemented to change the way systems of care respond to juveniles exploited in commercial sex in the U.S., yet there is little research on the way these laws have impacted the identification and rehabilitation of juveniles. Objective: Using administrative data, this study investigates the impact of a safe...
Article
Over the past decade, the majority of states in the United States have enacted laws that include legal protection and/or rehabilitative services for juvenile victims of human trafficking. This mixed-methods study investigates the effect of safe harbor legislation on key agency personnel’s awareness, knowledge, and capacity for responding to sex tra...
Article
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A substantial body of literature has found associations between interpersonal victimization, trauma symptoms, and substance use disorders (SUD) among adolescents. Secondary data analysis was conducted on structured interview data collected by treatment providers as 172 adolescents (ages 12–19) entered outpatient substance abuse treatment. Results i...
Article
Despite recognition that evidence-based treatments generate desirable client outcomes, significant challenges to successful planting of these technologies remain. A multidisciplinary group of clinicians (N = 119) trained using three different dissemination models in an evidence-based treatment completed a seventy-item implementation survey at appro...
Article
Background: Interpersonal violence continues to affect health long after violence has ended. This analysis investigated stress, support, and health behaviors as mediators potentially explaining persistent health impacts of violence. Methods: Using a cross-sectional analysis of 12,594 women "Wellness, Health & You" (WHY) participants, authors measu...
Article
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Background Injury is one of the most prevalent potentially emotionally traumatic events that children experience and can lead to persistent impaired physical and emotional health. There is a need for interventions that promote full physical and emotional recovery and that can be easily accessed by all injured children. Based on research evidence re...
Article
Secondary traumatic stress (STS) impacts many helping professionals and staff who are indirectly exposed to the graphic details of others’ traumatic experiences and to the posttraumatic stress symptoms of those persons. A nascent but growing database documents the nature and effects of STS, but no consensus definition exists for STS. As a result, t...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter describes an approach to the organizational assessment of secondary traumatic stress (STS) policies and practices that enables child welfare leaders to reliably evaluate how STS-informed their agency is, develop a roadmap for addressing challenges, and track progress toward organizational change in this area over time. These strategies...
Chapter
The Partners in Child Protection (PICP) project is a trauma-informed, evidence-based assessment and consultation program designed to support collaborative decision-making and service provision within the child welfare system. PICP is an academic-public child welfare partnership that utilizes state-of-the art assessment technologies to develop case...
Chapter
This chapter creates a vision for future child welfare practice by summarizing the innovations and trauma-informed strategies that child welfare agencies can enact to create a trauma-responsive culture and better meet their goals in the areas of safety, permanency, and well-being. A synthesis of recommendations, challenges and successes achieved by...
Article
Secondary traumatic stress (STS) impacts many helping professionals and staff who are indirectly exposed to the graphic details of others’ traumatic experiences and to the posttraumatic stress symptoms of those persons. A nascent but growing database documents the nature and effects of STS, but no consensus definition exists for STS. As a result, t...
Article
Vicarious trauma occurs when individuals are exposed indirectly to the direct trauma experienced by others, usually through sensory contact with graphic, traumatic content. This indirect exposure can produce symptoms of distress that fall on a continuum of mild to severe, with subcategories of vicarious trauma often referred to as secondary traumat...
Article
Children in the child welfare system comprise a group characterized by exposure to trauma via experiences of maltreatment, under circumstances presenting multiple risk factors for traumatic stress. High rates of posttraumatic stress have been observed in this population. However, there is currently no standard for the universal screening of childre...
Article
Full-text available
The literature is replete with examples of the heavy toll that Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) exacts among the workers who assist trauma survivors. The subsequent impact of STS on the workforce manifests in low morale, turnover, loss of productivity, job dissatisfaction and presenteeism. As organizations strive to become more trauma-informed, add...
Article
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It is well documented in the literature that child sex trafficking can be perpetrated by family members, though limited research has focused on describing this type of sexual exploitation. This pilot study addresses this gap by providing an analysis of familial sex trafficking considering trafficking dynamics, and rurality. Using a sample of 31 chi...
Book
This comprehensive reference offers a robust framework for introducing and sustaining trauma-responsive services and culture in child welfare systems. Organized around concepts of safety, permanency, and well-being, chapters describe innovations in child protection, violence prevention, foster care, and adoption services to reduce immediate effects...
Article
Full-text available
There is a growing body of literature that childhood or adult trauma exposure can have lifelong mental and physical health impacts. In this large cross-sectional analysis, authors investigated combinations of trauma types and pain resulting in functional limitations among women recruited into a statewide health registry. Combinations of traumas suc...
Article
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There is an expanding research database regarding secondary trauma exposure among helping professionals across disciplines and settings. However, there is limited research on the incidence of secondary traumatic stress in social science researchers studying traumatized populations. Various disciplines engage in this area of research, which exposes...
Article
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Professionals working in the fields of trauma, victim assistance, mental health, law enforcement, fire response, emergency medical services, and other professions are exposed to traumatic events on a regular basis; in some cases, workers are exposed every day. Vicarious trauma (VT) refers to the exposure to the trauma experiences of others, conside...
Article
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Previous research has investigated the deleterious effects of child maltreatment on child development; however, little research has examined the development of children who live with caregivers who are at risk of maltreatment on child development outcomes. This study utilized self-report data from caregivers that included the Child Abuse Potential...
Article
Full-text available
This article describes the development and psychometric properties of the Secondary Traumatic Stress Informed Organizational Assessment (STSI-OA), a 40-item instrument designed to evaluate the degree to which an organization is STS-informed and able to respond to the impact of secondary traumatic stress in the workplace. A sample of 629 respondents...
Article
Full-text available
The number of custodial grandparents has increased significantly over the past decade. Building on Hayslip's and Kaminski's comprehensive review of the literature on custodial grandparenting, we conducted an updated review of the literature, in particular peer-reviewed journal articles published since 2004. We have developed a conceptual model to c...
Article
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Published approaches to compassion fatigue in psychotherapists typically emphasize clinician self-care strategies. Implicit in the self-care emphasis is the assumption that trauma therapy encounters are inherently fatiguing, and that recovery occurs during the clinician's off-duty time. In contrast, the components for enhancing clinician engagement...
Article
Full-text available
The number of custodial grandparents has increased significantly over the past decade. Building on Hayslip’s and Kaminski’s comprehensive review of the literature on custodial grandparenting, we conducted an updated review of the literature, in particular peer-reviewed journal articles published since 2004. We have developed a conceptual model to c...
Article
Behavioral health professional organizations are in the unique role of aggregating and disseminating information to their membership before, during, and after health-related disasters to promote the integration of behavioral health services into the public health disaster response plan. This article provides a set of 5 principles to direct this und...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of the study was to examine professionals’ awareness, knowledge, and experiences working with youth victims of sex trafficking in metropolitan and non-metropolitan communities. Professionals who worked with at-risk youth and/or crime victims were recruited from all counties in a southern, rural state in the U.S. to complete a telephone...
Chapter
This chapter describes child maltreatment from a transactional, multimethod and translational perspective, and outlines an evaluation model to guide assessment of risk, cross- system collaboration, and decision-making. A comprehensive assessment model guided by a transactional framework is outlined. Data generated by the model were analyzed and sum...
Article
Full-text available
The institution of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA) was a major revision of existing child welfare policies that represented a shift from a focusing on the preservation and reunification of the biological family to emphasizing the health, safety, and permanency needs of children. The two primary groups of children most negatively a...
Article
Full-text available
This article investigates gender differences in trauma symptoms from baseline to end of treatment (trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy or parent–child interaction therapy) in children ages 7–18 years. Multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) and trend analysis using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were conducted on baseline and end of...
Article
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This study investigates trauma exposure as a risk factor for increased parenting stress, controlling for social support utilization and specific caregiver characteristics. Interviews were conducted with 190 caregivers of children ages 3 to 12 in rural Appalachia to determine the prevalence and type of trauma exposure using a trauma detail form, and...
Article
Awareness of cases of fatal child maltreatment has risen significantly in recent years suggesting the presence of a serious threat to young children despite extensive child welfare, clinical and legal responses to the issue. The purpose of this study was to identify differences between high risk child maltreatment and fatal risk cases and associate...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the demographic features, trauma profiles, clinical severity indicators, problem behaviors, and service utilization characteristics of youth victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) compared with a matched sample of sexually abused/assaulted youth who were not exploited in commercial sex. Secondary data analysis and prope...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of the study was to examine professionals' awareness, knowledge, and experiences working with youth victims of sex trafficking in metropolitan and non-metropolitan communities. Professionals who worked with at-risk youth and/or crime victims were recruited from all counties in a southern, rural state in the U.S. to complete a telephone...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: This paper examines the mediating effect of child–grandparent conflict on the relationship between child trauma exposure and grandparenting stress.Methods: Data was collected from a sample of custodial grandparents who participated in kinship care or relative caregiving programs (n = 251). Grandparenting stress was measured with Parenti...
Method
Full-text available
Measure to assess the degree to which an organization is operating in a way that addresses secondary traumatic stress. The measure can be used for free with proper citation
Article
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This study expands our understanding of treatment attrition by investigating factors predicting treatment dropout in a large national data set of clinic-referred children and parents seeking trauma-specific psychotherapy services. Using de-identifed data (N = 2,579) generated by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Core Data Set collected be...
Article
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Objectives: This study investigated the psychosocial responses of children and their parents to pandemic disasters, specifically measuring traumatic stress responses in children and parents with varying disease-containment experiences. Methods: A mixed-method approach using survey, focus groups, and interviews produced data from 398 parents. Adu...
Chapter
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This chapter provides an overview of a study that investigates predictors of STS in a national sample of 669 professionals, highlighting and exploring the differential responses of child welfare workers. Study participants were recruited via licensure board rosters and professional membership lists in six states, and invited to participate in an on...
Article
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In spite of widespread concern that children living with substance-misusing caregivers are experiencing greater risk for maltreatment, little research examines the direct effects of caregiver substance use on child outcomes. This systematic review investigates the work done within and across disciplines of adult substance abuse, child welfare, and...
Article
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This article explores the concept of allostatic load and its utility as an integrative framework for thinking about the impact of chronic stress on children and adolescents. Allostatic load refers to the failure or exhaustion of normal physiologic processes that occurs in response to severe, frequent, or chronic stressors. This persistent physiolog...
Article
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This study proposed to determine the prevalence of substance use and drug-related arrests among caregivers of children referred to Child Protective Services (CPS), examine the relationship between substance use and arrests among caregivers, and examine the main effects and interaction of substance use and arrests in predicting child trauma exposure...
Article
This study examines compassion fatigue, burnout and compassion satisfaction in two groups of counselors who specialize in substance dependency treatment in order to identify the unique features of substance abuse service delivery that may be related to professional quality of life. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 substance abuse couns...