Examining educators’ attitudes toward trauma-informed care and educators’ secondary traumatic stress

Date
August 2023
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Abstract

This study examined the relationship between teachers’ attitudes toward trauma-informed care and teachers' self-reported levels of secondary traumatic stress. Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory and Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory were used as frameworks for this study. A purposive sample of 132 early childhood and elementary education teachers and teacher assistants actively teaching in Pre-Kindergarten (three and four-year-olds) through sixth grade within the state of Texas participated in the study. The study included six public school districts and two Head Start programs. The Attitudes Related to Trauma-Informed Care Scale (ARTIC-45) (Baker et al., 2015; Traumatic Stress Institute, 2022) and the Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale (STSS) (Bride et al., 2007) were used as instruments in this study. The ARTIC-45 Scale was used to measure teachers’ and teaching assistants’ attitudes toward trauma-informed care and the STSS was used to measure teachers’ and teaching assistants’ self-reported levels of secondary traumatic stress. Teachers and teaching assistants reported significant differences in secondary traumatic stress by grade level, age, and years of experience. Significant differences were reported in attitudes related to trauma-informed care by age and years of experience but not by grade level. A negative correlation was found between teachers’ and teaching assistants’ reported levels of secondary traumatic stress on the STSS and teachers’ and teaching assistants’ attitudes toward trauma-informed care on the ARTIC-45 Scale.

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Education, General, secondary traumatic stress, trauma informed care
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