Trauma-informed approaches in schools: the efficacy of the ‘trauma-sensitive schools training package’
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Background Experiencing childhood trauma can cause substantial negative lifelong outcomes. Research demonstrates educational settings may mitigate against these adverse effects by adopting whole-school, trauma-sensitive approaches. Aims The current study aimed to evaluate the impact of Modules 1 and 2 of the professional development intervention known as the ‘Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Package’ (TSSTP; Guarino & Chagnon, 2018) on a range of education staff variables. All target variables were identified as essential in the successful implementation of interventions in educational settings. Additionally, this study aimed to augment the literature base in the area by becoming the first Irish study to explore the impact of an intervention of this kind. Sample The intervention group consisted of school staff (n=40) in a DEIS Band 2 coeducational primary school in Ireland including teachers (n=28), SNAs (n=10), the school principal and the school psychologist. The wait-list control group consisted of teachers (n=19) in a similar DEIS Band 2 primary school in the same locality. Method A quasi-experimental, non-equivalent wait-list control group design and sequential explanatory mixed-methods were utilized. Six standardised quantitative measures were undertaken at pre- and post-intervention with participants across both groups. Post-intervention semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants from the intervention school only. Results Significant improvements were observed with teachers and SNAs in the intervention group from pre- to post-intervention. These included all quantitative measures related to knowledge and awareness of trauma, with these findings echoed in the qualitative data. Non-significant quantitative results attained for intervention teachers and SNAs were also explored. No effects were noted in control group scores over the same time period. Qualitative analysis revealed further insights including the impact of responding to trauma on staff and barriers to content implementation. Conclusions This study provides support for the efficacy of Modules 1 and 2 of the TSSTP in improving important staff variables related to implementing trauma-sensitive approaches. It also identified supports and barriers to content implementation. Study limitations, as well as implications for professional practice and future research, are explored.
Trauma-sensitive schools training package
Language (ISO 639-3)eng
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