Date of Thesis

Spring 2022


This thesis explores the relationship between trauma-informed practices and teacher burnout and turnover. For the past decade, schools across the United States have seen high levels of burnout and turnover amongst their educators. At the same time, young children are experiencing high levels of exposure to traumatic events in childhood, affecting their behavior, social and emotional health, and ability to learn. While teachers play an important role in the support system for these students, they are also at risk for experiencing secondary trauma and burnout. To mitigate the effects of trauma, trauma-informed practices have been introduced in schools to respond to trauma and build resiliency in both students and teachers. In Pennsylvania, some school districts have received funding to implement trauma-informed practices through the PA School Safety and Security Grant program. This research studies the influence of trauma-informed practices funded by the grant program on teacher burnout, measured using the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educator Survey, and teacher turnover, using mixed quantitative and qualitative methods. The results indicate that teachers in Pennsylvania are experiencing burnout, particularly emotional exhaustion, but that there were no differences in burnout levels or intended turnover between teachers who taught in schools with the grant for trauma-informed practices and those that did not. Implications for further policy are discussed, including suggestions for implementing tiered whole-school models of trauma-informed practices to support both students who have experienced trauma and the teachers that work with them.


Trauma-Informed Practices, Teacher Burnout, Teacher Turnover, Education Policy

Access Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts



Second Major

Political Science

Minor, Emphasis, or Concentration

Classics & Mediterranean Studies

First Advisor

Janet VanLone

Second Advisor

Abe Feuerstein

Third Advisor

Alia Stanciu