chapter  16
14 Pages

Vicarious and Secondary Trauma in Interviews on Father Identity and Connections

WithMzikazi Nduna, Yandisa Skweyiya, Grace Khunou, Vuyani Pambo, Thandeka Mdletshe

This chapter addresses issues around the occurrence of vicarious trauma based on empirically collected data reporting on field experiences. It presents a research conducted in South Africa to explore young people's experiences of growing up without a father. The chapter highlights that participant's observed distress may transfer vicarious trauma to the field-worker. The chapter also describes signs of possible vicarious trauma experienced by field-workers and cautions about the potential impact of vicarious trauma on field-workers. This chapter provides a detailed discussion of the emotional responses by field-workers during the data collection process in two South African provinces. It discusses the three themes that capture the emotional and psychological experiences of field-workers. The themes include: i) participants' observed distress and potential for vicarious trauma in field-workers, ii) signs of possible vicarious trauma experienced by field-workers and iii) the potential impact of vicarious trauma on fieldwork and the interviews.