Preferred Name

Tiffany N. Sitton

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

ORCID 0000-0002-1382-5330

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)


School of Music


William M. Dabback

Amy B. Lewis

Lisa M. Maynard


Existing research rarely directly addresses individual trauma experiences of early career music teachers, despite copious research on adjacent areas such as stress and burnout. Early career music teachers have seldom had the opportunity to share stories of their trauma in the literature. Following an explanatory-sequential mixed method (Creswell, 2015), the researcher surveyed 250 music educators about their self-reported trauma experiences and then interviewed six of those participants to gain explanation of the survey data and to further illuminate their stories. Participants evaluated their own experiences using the definition of individual trauma from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2014). The most common type of trauma they reported was non-life threatening emotional, and the least common was life-threatening physical. The coded interview data revealed the interconnections between various factors that influenced and were influenced by trauma. The researcher explored the topic of attrition as it applied to those who have experienced trauma in their early careers, and concluded with recommendations for continued research and advocacy regarding the trauma experiences of teachers, in addition to a call to action for leaders to strengthen mentorship structures and teacher preparation programs.



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