Document Type


Date of Original Version



Human Development and Family Science


Higher education courses frequently utilize trauma-related content material as part of the curriculum. To reduce the potential for secondary traumatic stress, it has been recommended that instructors be purposeful and cautious with the use of trauma-related materials in the classroom. Most recommendations for implementation of these materials are based on theory, as few empirical studies examine actual student reactions to this content. This study, guided by Hill's ABC-X Model, presents mixed methods survey data from undergraduate students enrolled in a trauma course across three semesters to measure trauma exposure and subjective reactions to course materials. Qualitative results indicated a range of emotional reactions to course content, with both positive and negative effects. Results support the notion that coping resources and appraisal of the content itself may influence how course content is experienced by students. Implications for teaching, policy, and future research are discussed.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Teaching in Higher Education