Teachers' Experiences with and Perceived Ability to Serve Students Exposed to Trauma

Date of Award


Degree Name

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)


Department of Counselor Education and Human Services


Advisor: Susan Davies


Children exposed to trauma may go on to experience chronic psychologic symptoms. There is an increasing need for general education teachers to recognize the signs of trauma exposure and be able to support traumatized students in the classroom. Few studies have examined the relationship between these perceptions and teachers' previous experiences, training, and education on trauma exposure in adolescence. This study examined teachers' experiences with and perceived ability to serve students exposed to trauma. One-hundred and fourteen general education teachers from the Midwest completed an internet survey on their experiences and perceptions; four teachers were interviewed about their experiences and perceptions. Results indicate an overall desire to aid students, and a positive relationship between pre-service trauma training and higher perceived ability to aid students exposed to trauma. There was no relationship between professional development and/or prior experience with students exposed to trauma and the teachers' perceived ability to provide supports. Implications for school professionals when serving this population are discussed.


Education, School Counseling, Psychology

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