Date of Award

5-13-2011

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

First Advisor

Sharon F. Rallis

Second Advisor

Kim Whitehead

Third Advisor

Alexandrina Deschamps

Keywords

Compassion Fatigue, Secondary Traumatic Stress, Teacher Burnout, Traumatized Children, Urban Teachers, Vicarious

Subject Categories

Disability and Equity in Education | Education

Abstract

This study investigates the “the cost of caring” (Figley, 1995) for educators who teach and work with traumatized children; that is children who live in challenging social environments with ongoing stressors, such as family physical abuse, sexual assault, neglect, community violence, bereavement and loss issues, parental mental health and substance abuse, and homelessness. This study examines the theoretical framework of Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS). The phenomenon of STS has been investigated in depth for professionals, such as social workers, counselors/therapists, hotline/crisis workers, law enforcement officers, nurses, emergency medical technicians/paramedics, firefighters, and disaster relief workers (Bride et al, 2007). This study explores how teachers address the emotional stressors of teaching traumatized children, the impact of their work on them both personally and professionally, if teachers are able to incorporate self-care strategies, and explores the applicability of STS to elementary educators

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