Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Yvette Colón, PhD, ACSW, LMSW

Second Advisor

Dr. Angie Mann-Williams, PhD, LCSW

Third Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Kellman-Fritz, PhD, LMSW


Social workers are often asked to put the needs of others above their own. This, coupled with a propensity for social workers to engage with clients’ trauma, can lead to secondary traumatic stress (STS) disorder. This thesis explores how to better support social workers at individual, environmental, and organizational levels to predict and prevent STS. Based on a review of the literature, recommendations are made to improve social work policy, practice, and research. This analysis suggests that combatting STS must begin with social work students and continue through an individual’s career. Further research is required to inform the implementation of specific protective factors against STS.

Included in

Social Work Commons