Traumatic experience scale for jurors (TESJ)
This comprehensive dissertation describes research that involved the development of a paper-and-pencil tool to inventory juror stress level(s) resulting from common types of Washington criminal and civil trials. It includes a general explanation of its rationale and development, and provides norms as well as evidence of its reliability and validity.
Untreated stress can lead to several well-documented mental health conditions, the most serious two being part of this research: Acute Stress Disorder and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. The research on stress, trauma, the assessment of stress and trauma, and related therapeutic interventions have not been well correlated to the vicarious stress and traumatization that jurors can experience. This research is the first of several planned efforts to address this situation.
This is the first research to look at development of an instrument specifically designed to measure juror stress. Other research confirms that jurors can be life-affected by stress while on jury duty just documented it as a reality, with no distinctions as to trial-type, levels of stress, juror demographics, etc. What the results here do not confirm as well as initially desired is whether the TESJ can accurately and consistently measure high levels of juror stress and be a tool to help psychometrically determine what trial types consistently cause measurably high levels of stress. This research does begin to show what trial types are not notably stressful, which indirectly matches what previous research says regarding what trial types do (or could) be highly stressful. It is a beginning and a baseline from which future research can be started. The research contained here does confirm that an instrument specifically for jurors can be developed based upon sound psychological criteria and the diagnostic capabilities of the DSM-IV.
0519: School counseling
0624: Occupational psychology
0632: Quantitative psychology