Examining STS, burnout, and self-efficacy among teachers
Increasing support for system-level solutions that recognize and respond to childhood trauma have called for teachers to become change agents in their schools by supporting students impacted by traumatic experiences. The current study explored the challenges that teachers may face in joining this movement and their perceived self-efficacy specifically in being able to support their students exposed to trauma (TIC self-efficacy). First, it was hypothesized that teachers will experience levels of Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) and burnout at rates similar to the high rates of other helping professionals. It was also hypothesized that TIC self-efficacy among teachers would decrease over time. Further, it was hypothesized that teachers with higher levels of STS and burnout will show greater declines in self-efficacy over time. Finally, it was hypothesized that the relationships between STS and burnout, respectively, and self-efficacy will vary by years of experience. Descriptive results suggest that the majority of teachers in the current sample do not experience elevated symptoms of burnout or STS. Results further yielded main effects of burnout and STS on self-efficacy, as well as a significant decrease in self-efficacy over time. However, neither STS nor burnout significantly moderated TIC self-efficacy over time. Further, neither the relationship between TIC self-efficacy and STS nor the relationship between TIC self-efficacy and burnout varied by years of experience in the field. This study has made a significant contribution to the field by examining STS and burnout among teachers and by evaluating these stressors in relation to the adoption of new system-wide initiatives for combatting the impact of childhood trauma.