In Their Own Words: Faculty/Staff and Student Accounts of Stress at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007
McLeese, Michelle Frances
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This study examines the stressful responses of faculty/staff and students after experiencing the April 16, 2007 school shootings at Virginia Tech. Understanding people's responses to trauma not only assists in more knowledge about what is stressful after a traumatic event but also may facilitate the finessing of tools and strategies for resilience and recovery in the aftermath of trauma. After investigating stressful responses to the April 16, 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech, and in particular those with probable PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), I found it was not always necessary to meet the "stressor" A criterion of PTSD. This is crucial because the "stressor" criterion A of PTSD is required to receive the diagnosis of PTSD. Although I found subtle stress differences for women compared to men, and faculty/staff compared to students, none of the differences were statistically significant. This research additionally contributes to the literature by detailing a profile of stressors for both faculty/staff and students in the aftermath of the worst college campus shooting in U.S. history to date. Findings suggest future research should examine the "stressor" criterion A of PTSD as well as the full spectrum of stressful responses both in the "immediate" and "delayed" aftermath of trauma(s).
- Doctoral Dissertations