Date of Award

August 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Karen C Stoiber

Committee Members

Kyongboon Kwon, James Topitzes, Sara Jozwik


hierarchical mulitple regression, personal factors, predictors, professional factors, Secondary traumatic stress


Due to the high rates of exposure to potentially traumatic events in childhood, educators may experience high levels of indirect trauma exposure that can lead to adverse consequences, such as Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS). STS is a potential “constellation of symptoms that may run parallel to those of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) including symptoms of intrusion, avoidance, arousal, and emotional numbing” (Molnar et al., 2017, p. 130). However, STS remains understudied in the school personnel population. This quantitative survey study explored to what extent a set of professional (i.e., supervisor support, colleague support, trauma-informed practices professional development, professional role) and personal factors (self-care, personal trauma history, perceived dosage of student trauma, and subjective impact of the COVID-19 pandemic) predicted STS scores for a sample of 225 urban school personnel. Analyses included conducting descriptives and a series of hierarchical and moderation multiple regression analyses. Results reveal 41.2% of the participants met criteria for STS on the Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale (Bride et al., 2007). The results suggest the set of personal factors are significantly associated with STS scores. Professional factors, however, were found to be less strongly related, with the possible exception of supervisor support. Finally, the results suggest supervisor support may moderate or positively impact the relationship between some risk factors (e.g., perceived dosage of student trauma) and STS scores. Implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.