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Journal Article


Ormiston HE, Nygaard MA, Apgar S. Sch. Ment. Health 2022; 14(4): 802-817.


(Copyright © 2022, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)






When teachers care for children with trauma histories, they are at risk of developing compassion fatigue (CF), or a reduced empathic capacity (Hupe and Stevenson in J Child Custody Res Issues Pract 16(4):364-386, 2019. They may also develop secondary traumatic stress (STS), a secondary condition resulting from a person learning about details of a traumatic event experienced by someone in their care (Essary et al. in Kappa Delta Pi Record 56(3):116-121, 2020). While CF and STS have been studied widely in healthcare and mental health professionals (Baird and Kracen in Couns Psychol Q 19(2):181-188, 2006; Caringi et al. in Adv Sch Ment Health Promot 8(4):244-256, 2015.; Cieslak et al. in Psychol Serv 11(1):75-86, 2014), STS and CF have been understudied in the teaching profession (Caringi et al., 2015; Christian-Brandt et al. in Child Abuse Neglect 110(3):104437, 2020; Hupe & Stevenson, 2019). As such, we sought to complete a systematic review of the literature to answer two questions: (1) To what extent are CF and STS being studied in teachers?; and (2) How have CF and STS been studied in teachers? Qualitative data analysis led to the emergence of four themes across all included studies: (1) conceptualization of CF and STS; (2) teachers are at risk of developing CF and STS; (3) varying approaches can mitigate the risk of CF and STS in teachers; and (4) there is limited research on CF and STS in teachers. Limitations and directions for future research and practice are described.

Language: en


Compassion fatigue; Mental health; Secondary traumatic stress; Teachers


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