Secondary traumatic stress and trauma informed practice in Higher Education students: an exploratory study

Conroy, Diana and Babicova, Ivana (2024) Secondary traumatic stress and trauma informed practice in Higher Education students: an exploratory study. European Social Work Research. ISSN 2755-1768

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The helping professions have long understood that secondary traumatic stress and its counterpart’s burnout and compassion fatigue are a problem for workers in the field. However, less is known about the impact of the issue on students who have placements. This quantitative research study sought to explore if a convenience sample of 45 students on two programmes in the field were affected, using the Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale. The results have shown several non- significant results, suggesting that the number of weekly caring responsibility hours did not predict perceived STSS scores after placement, and that high scoring students have shown no significant difference in STSS scores before and after placement. Overall, we also found that the sub-sample of 10 students with caring responsibilities had higher STSS scores. The article discusses wellbeing in students generally, incorporating trauma informed perspectives. While no students in this study were affected, the discussion what can be done to better support students from an ecological perspective to protect and prepare them for their placements and future careers. Finally, this article calls for policy and practice in education and the curriculum of the professions to routinely incorporate awareness of the issues in training and supervision.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
15 April 2024Accepted
27 May 2024Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: burnout, compassion fatigue, placements, secondary trauma, vicarious trauma
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-01 - psychology (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > College of Psychology
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 20 May 2024 13:58
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 13:02

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