Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School Psychology


Each day, students across the nation carry personal trauma histories into the classroom. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2014), trauma “results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.” With nearly half of all children experiencing at least one adverse childhood event (Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, 2013), teachers’ approach to addressing trauma in the classroom is critical. Yet our understanding of teachers’ knowledge and confidence in supporting students exposed to traumatic events is limited. The current study aimed to examine the impact of teachers’ experiences (e.g., length of time in the classroom, teaching setting, and trauma training) on their perceptions of (1) the need for trauma intervention in the classroom, (2) their role in providing support to students experiencing child traumatic stress, and (3) their level of self-efficacy in supporting this group of students. Perceptions were gathered from Nebraska classroom teachers (n = 327) via a mixed-methodology online survey. Survey results illustrate a need for developmentally-appropriate trauma-specific training across career stages (e.g., early-, mid-, and late- career) and school type (e.g., elementary, middle, and high school). Implications for the implementation of this type of training are discussed.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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