Glenna L. Read, Yan, H, & Bailey, R. “Viewing violent policing videos contributes to trauma outcomes beyond experiences with police: A minority health perspective approach,” paper to be presented at 2023 International Communication Association. Toronto, Canada.
Abstract: Recent research indicates that watching videos of police violence may also negatively affect well-being via a concept termed vicarious trauma.
A large-scale survey of Americans (n = 1505) examined the impact of negative experiences with police and watching violent policing videos as distal (i.e., external) stressors that contribute to symptoms of trauma. The proximal (i.e., internal) stressor of worrying about being stereotyped as a criminal by police was also examined. Those who identified as African American were more likely to report negative experiences with police, exposure to violent policing videos, and greater worry about being stereotyped as criminal by police than those who did not identify as African American. The three stressors were, in turn, associated with experiencing trauma symptoms. Exposure to violent policing videos is associated with trauma in African Americans, even when accounting for the impact of direct experiences with police. These findings demonstrate the importance of considering vicarious trauma in therapeutic settings and have implications for dissemination of these videos through media channels.