Teachers' Ability to Detect Symptoms of Trauma in Children

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


Educational Psychology

Date of Award

Spring 2017


This researcher explores trauma as a barrier to education and how teachers are able to detect it in students. The current society endures a high percentage of exposure to violence, abuse, neglect, and other traumatic events. Children are severely affected by these events. Copeland, Keeler, Angold, and Costello (2007) state that "more than two thirds of children in the general population report exposure to at least one traumatic event by the age of 16" (p. 577). As a result, their ability to learn and function in an educational setting cam be impacted. Cole, O'Brien, Gadd, Ristuccia, Wallace, & Gregory (2005) state the , "The impact on a child's self-perception and worldview can get carried into the classroom, where it can interfere with the ability to process information and maintain control over behaviors and emotions," (p.2). Schools often struggle with knowing how to reach these children in order to helm them be successful in their education. Traumatized children do not always respond to traditional teaching styles. This study investigated teachers' ability to indicate characteristics of trauma in elementary-aged children, and what types of interventions are needed.


Gail Johnson

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Psychology