The Cost Of Caring: An Arts-Based Phenomenological Analysis Of Secondary Traumatic Stress In College Student Affairs

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jason Lynch, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Higher Education (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Student affairs professionals are often called upon to act as first-responders to students experiencing trauma, leaving them exposed to secondary traumatic stress. In this study, I used phenomenological methods supported by an arts-based research exercise to explore the experiences and meaning making processes of student affairs professionals who have supported students through traumatic life events. The findings explore major themes, including the role of organizational influence on maladaptive views of student support, the impact of support work on personal wellness, self-efficacy in trauma support, and dimensions of social support. Implications for practice and further research are discussed.

Additional Information

Lynch, R.J., & Glass, C.R. (2020). The Cost of Caring: An Arts-Based Phenomenological Analysis of Secondary Traumatic Stress in College Student Affairs. The Review of Higher Education 43(4), 1041-1068. doi:10.1353/rhe.2020.0030. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2020
secondary trauma, student affairs, well-being, phenomenology, arts-based research

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