Semester of Graduation

Winter 2023


Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Teachers are the most important factor in eliciting positive student outcomes. Yet, teacher attrition is an increasing problem, due to the demands of the profession. These demands are exacerbated in high-needs schools, which serve students who are exposed to higher levels of stress and trauma. It is understood that, because of the populations high-needs schools serve, teachers who work in these schools are exposed to secondary traumatic stress (STS) at higher rates than other teachers. What is less clear is if STS exposure contributes to teacher attrition, beyond other known factors. The current study surveyed 104 teachers from a school district in North Louisiana to determine: (1) What symptoms and degree of secondary traumatic stress and general depression, anxiety, and stress are teachers in high-needs schools experiencing? (2) Does secondary traumatic stress contribute to teacher attrition, beyond other known contributors? (3) Does teacher self-efficacy moderate the relationship between secondary traumatic stress and teacher attrition? The findings indicate that a large number of teachers experience exposure to secondary trauma, and approximately a quarter of the teachers surveyed reported it was likely they would leave their school or the profession in the next year. Additionally, a logistic regression found that STS significantly contributes to teacher attrition beyond other known factors, including classroom demands and teacher self-efficacy. Finally, initial simple moderation analyses did not indicate that teacher self-efficacy significantly moderates the relationship between STS and teacher attrition.



Committee Chair

Long, Anna