Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

School Psychology

Abstract

Trauma exposure among youth is common and can result in long-term social-emotional, behavioral, and academic problems (Finkelhor, Turner, Hamby, & Ormrod, 2011; Kronenberg et al., 2010). Fortunately, there are interventions that can ameliorate these problems. In particular, trauma-focused, interventions are effective in reducing trauma related symptomatology and problems among youth (Cary & McMillen, 2012). Trauma exposure among youth is common and can result in long-term social-emotional, behavioral, and academic problems (Finkelhor, Turner, Hamby, & Ormrod, 2011). Additionally, most youth receive mental health services in schools (Green et al., 2013). Fortunately, there are school-based, trauma-focused interventions that have been found to be efficacious in reducing trauma exposure related symptomatology among youth (Cary & McMillen, 2012). Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is a rigorously, empirically supported, evidence-based intervention for treating problems associated with trauma exposure among youth ages 3-18 years (Silverman et al., 2008); yet, outcomes studies examining TF-CBT in a school setting are sparse (Stevens & Michael, 2014). Youth receive most of their mental health services in schools (Green et al., 2013), and they spend much of their day in schools (Gelkopf & Berger, 2009); therefore, schools are an ideal venue to provide trauma-focused interventions to children and adolescents. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is a rigorously, empirically supported, evidence-based intervention for treating problems associated with trauma exposure among youth ages 3-18 years (Silverman et al., 2008). Despite rigorous empirical support, outcomes studies examining TF-CBT in a school setting are sparse (Stevens & Michael, 2014). Using a multiple-case design with a mixed methods approach, this study described how TF-CBT with a teacher component was implemented in the school setting. The study also examined student outcomes associated with participation in TF-CBT in the school setting. Lastly, the study examined how the intervention was perceived by key stakeholders. Four English-speaking students from a rural Midwestern schools participated in the study. Students received 8 individual, weekly, 45-minute sessions (Mannarino et al., 2012) of TF-CBT that included a teacher component. Adherence to the fidelity of an eight-week TF-CBT intervention, with a teacher component, was feasible in the school setting. Additionally, both students and teachers were satisfied with the intervention with some teachers noting they would have liked to have been more involved in the intervention process. Most of the student experienced reduction in posttraumatic stress (pts) symptoms. However, a similar finding was not found for anxiety and depression symptoms. Teachers reported a reduction of specific externalizing symptoms post-intervention compared to baseline. Additionally, the majority of students experienced improvement in their grades post-intervention compared to baseline.

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

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