International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Stamm, Pfefferbaum Honored for Services Within Their Trauma Field

Posted 1 July 2005 in StressPoints by ISTSS

Beth Hudnall Stamm Receives 2004 Public Advocacy Award
Beth Hudnall Stamm, PhD, received the ISTSS Public Advocacy Award in November at the 2004 ISTSS annual meeting awards ceremony. This award is given for outstanding and fundamental contributions to advancing social understanding of trauma. Stamm is widely known in her field, nationally and internationally, for her contributions as an educator, researcher and a leader in public advocacy.

Stamm has been the principal investigator for more than 30 studies in traumatic stress totaling more than $16 million dollars, and maintains international databases in trauma—much of which focuses on secondary traumatic stress. Her measure, the Professional Quality of Life Scale: The Compassion Fatigue & Satisfaction Scale, V3, is the most commonly used measure of secondary trauma worldwide.

She worked in Indonesia for three years helping to develop traumatic stress programs. Her work in South Africa, which originated with the Programme for Survivors of Violence, has spanned a decade. Following the September 11 attacks in the United States, she helped state and federal government organize Web resources to respond to the trauma.

Stamm was one of the first visionaries of technology utilization in traumatic stress. Her aggressive advocacy role through national and international committees and organizations led to telehealth “spin-offs.”

Her book, Measurement of Stress, Trauma and Adaptation, was the first text devoted to measuring traumatic stress. She was one of the first researchers to recognize the long-term traumatic impact of war and forced relocation among indigenous peoples worldwide.

In that capacity, she founded the project, Community Revitalization & Healing of Cultural Trauma in Indigenous Peoples, which links the knowledge of Western-trained health professionals and historians with that of traditional healers to strengthen indigenous communities caught in the gap between traditional and Western culture. Her latest book, Rural Behavioral Health Care: An Interdisciplinary Guide, illustrates her deep insights on public and federal policy issues underlying the life of the rural population.

Betty Pfefferbaum Receives Frank Ochberg Award
The field of media and trauma studies has grown significantly during the past half-decade, with important research being conducted in areas such as psychiatry, psychology, sociology and communications. The Frank Ochberg Award for Media and Trauma Study, established at the 2003 ISTSS annual meeting, recognizes significant contributions by clinicians and researchers in the relationship of media and trauma.

Betty Pfefferbaum, MD, received the first Ochberg Award in November at the 2004 annual meeting. Pfefferbaum has made significant contributions to the developing field of media and trauma research, specifically in examining links between television viewing and psychological symptoms. While a general, and often heated, public debate continues over the assumed effects of news coverage on the emotions and psychological health of children and adults, Pfefferbaum is one of the few researchers providing important clinical evidence of actual relationships.

Pfefferbaum, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, is lead author of published studies on the effects that television viewing had on children after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Her survey research serves as a model in finding valid methods to measure the relationship between viewing tragic news events and symptoms of depression and PTSD.

Applying her research and medical experience to helping victims of trauma after major disasters, Pfefferbaum has worked directly with victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and testified to the US Senate regarding the mental health needs of children affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks. She also serves as the director of the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress Terrorism and Disaster Branch.

Pfefferbaum’s work has advanced the knowledge of the media’s connection to mental health, building a solid cross-disciplinary research in the area of journalism and trauma.