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Trauma-Informed Programs Based in Schools: Linking Concepts to Practices and Assessing the Evidence.

Authors
  • Herrenkohl, Todd I1
  • Hong, Sunghyun1
  • Verbrugge, Bethany1
  • 1 School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
American journal of community psychology
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2019
Volume
64
Issue
3-4
Pages
373–388
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/ajcp.12362
PMID: 31355976
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

When children experience stress and adversity in their homes and communities, schools become a critically important setting in which to intervene and foster their resilience. Changing practices within schools so that vulnerable and traumatized children are better understood and more compassionately served is a goal shared by many school professionals, yet schools remain poorly equipped to address the needs of these children. Any number of school-based programs have the potential to benefit children with an elevated risk for academic difficulties and mental health disorders, although questions remain as to which programs are most promising, effective, and sustainable. Questions also remain about which programs best serve diverse populations and which have potential to reach the largest number of children, including those who do not outwardly manifest behaviors consistent with an underlying disorder but nonetheless require support. In this review, we take stock of existing programs used in schools to address the social, emotional, and academic needs of children with trauma histories. We summarize components of a various trauma-focused programs, categorized as: (a) individual and group-based approaches, (b) classroom-based approaches, and (c) school-wide approaches. For each category, we review and comment on the state and quality of research findings and provide illustrative examples from the literature to show how programs address trauma in the school context. Findings of the review suggest that empirical evidence currently favors individual and group-based approaches, although classroom-based and school-wide programs may be better positioned for integration, access to services, and sustainability. Implications and recommendations center on future research, practice, and policy. © 2019 Society for Community Research and Action.

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