Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Special Education

Major Professor

Jeannie Jeannie Kleinhammer-Tramill, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Phyllis Jones, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brenda Walker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Leia Cain, Ph.D.


burnout, teacher stress, educators, secondary traumatic stress


A group of suburban/rural general and special education teachers (n = 260) responded to an electronic survey. The survey was designed to measure the prevalence of an under researched area of compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction among teachers working in suburban/rural public schools. The current study hypothesized that the relationship among compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, demographic variables, and teacher stress factors (time management, discipline, motivation, professional distress, and professional investment) would correlate with an increase in compassion fatigue (burnout and secondary traumatic stress) for general and special education teachers working in suburban/rural public schools; furthermore, it predicted a positive correlation among burnout, compassion fatigue, and compassion satisfaction. Findings indicate that both burnout and compassion fatigue have a negative impact on general education or special education teachers (Billingsley & Cross, 1992; Koenig, Rodger, & Specht, 2018; Kokkinos, 2007). The results also indicate a positive correlation between compassion fatigue and teacher burnout, which are negatively related to compassion satisfaction. Implications and future research are discussed.