Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Secondary traumatic stress, School employees-Psychology, Burn out (Psychology), Compassion-Psychological aspects, Compassion fatigue, Secondary trauma, Schools, Vicarious trauma, Burnout, Compassion satisfaction, ProQOL (Professional Quality of Life Scale), Education


This study was conducted to determine whether or not school employees are experiencing compassion fatigue. The research question for this study is: Are school employees experiencing compassion fatigue? This study included examining ways in which they identified levels of burnout, secondary trauma and compassion satisfaction. A quantitative study was conducted using snowball-sampling techniques to administer an online survey that asked participants to report demographic information and complete the Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL). 121 participants identified as fulltime employees of a school and as English speaking and over the age of eighteen. Findings point to low levels of compassion fatigue among the sample. Participants reported low to average levels of burnout and secondary trauma and high or average levels of compassion satisfaction. Trends in responses and correlations between demographic data and responses are discussed and explored further to determine the accurate portrayal of compassion fatigue in the realm of school employees. Implications for future studies and social workers are discussed.




iv, 60 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 36-43)