Jessica Baroni, Psy.D., is a 2018 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Theodore Ellenhorn, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Lorraine Mangione, PhD, Committee Member
  • Brian Denietolis, PsyD, Committee Member


restraints, mental health workers, psychiatric staff, post-traumatic stress disorder, burnout, social support, work stress

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This dissertation describes an empirical study of the psychological effects of restraints on mental health workers that perform this duty. To date, there is little research on the long-term, detrimental, and potentially traumatizing effects of restraints on an individual’s personal and professional life. Five self-report measures assessed the frequency that participants performed restraints, use of support after a restraint incident provided by their employer, perceived social support within their work environment, intention to leave their job, absenteeism, levels of job burnout, and post-traumatic stress symptoms. The study investigated the relationship between exposure to restraints and adverse stress effects and the extent to which social support changes this relationship. A hierarchical regression revealed no statistically significant relationships between exposure to restraints, use of support by an organization, and any adverse stress effects. However, the frequency of restraints modified the relationship between perceived social support and acute stress responses. For a participant with a lower restraint frequency, their expected acute stress response decreased as their perceived social support decreased. In contrast, participants with higher restraint frequency experienced increased acute stress response as their perceived social support decreased. Additionally, staff perception of social support at work was a predictor of levels of burnout, turnover intention, and acute stress responses. With these findings in mind, recommendations were included for ways in which institutions can create a culture and milieu of support for their employees.


Jessica Baroni

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0001-8279-8375