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Student experiences of emotional stress related to social work education

The purpose of this research is to identify areas in social work education where social work educators may want to be more intentional in preparing students for the potential of emotional distress. A survey of over 400 U.S. social work students was conducted to explore specific areas of social work curriculum that were stressful for students as well as explore students’ help-seeking behaviors, and the responses from social work faculty and program staff. The current research study also gathered information on the history of traumatic experiences and mental health among survey respondents to explore the relationship to stress and help seeking. The results from this research can be used in conjunction with previous research on how to teach students about trauma, to the develop promising practices in teaching and supporting students who experience emotional stress related to their social work education.


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