Helping Self & Helping Others: Motivation & benefits to participation in trauma-related research

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Alexandra González-Van Wart, Islea G. Piña, Sarah Melin,

E. Kate Webb, Christine L. Larson, & Carissa W. Tomas

Section Editor:

Sydney Timmer-Murillo

TRAUMA-RELATED RESEARCH PROVIDES INSIGHT into psychological and physiological responses after a stressful experience that may ultimately guide treatments for trauma survivors (Kleber, 2019). Given that potential participants have gone through a traumatic experience, recruitment for research studies can be challenging as participation must be voluntary and direct benefits to participants are not always apparent. Additionally, while some studies may offer financial compensation, funding is not always available and compensation does not reduce the emotional burden of disclosing personal information about traumatic events and day-to-day stressors (Clark, 2010). To understand and overcome barriers to participation, a number of studies have investigated the motivation and benefits of trauma-related research participation. One of the most common motivators is altruism, or a desire to benefit others (Alexander 2018; Gatny & Axinn, 2011). Other motivators include the opportunity to learn about oneself or one’s experience, using research as a sounding board and gaining information or access to recovery services (Alexander 2018; Clark, 2010; Gysels et al., 2008). To continue reading click here.