Exploring the Concept of Prevescalation Through the Lens of Trauma: The Role of Students and Teachers
Chinopfukutwa, Vimbayi Sandra
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Numerous studies highlight that adolescence is the peak period of risk for trauma and its negative effects on physical and mental health. The current research focused on two studies examining whether training students and teachers in schools on effective strategies such as trauma-informed practices (TIPs) may help those who have experienced trauma build resilience and prevent the negative effects of trauma from progressing to adulthood. Study one examined the degree of trauma exposure, the role that students play in the implementation of TIPs, and the extent to which implementing TIPs impacts their lives. Participants were students (aged 15-18) participating in an elective Social Emotional Learning course in two rural high schools in the Midwest. Descriptive statistics showed that 46.2% of the students in the sample had at least one adverse childhood experience. Interview data also showed that students implemented Social Emotional Learning, Self-Care, and Restorative Circles in their schools. Results also showed that students trained younger students, same-age peers, and their teachers on these practices. Finally, results indicated that implementing TIPs promoted positive behaviors among students and teachers in the schools. Study two examined whether teachers’ professional quality of life and type of training received predicted their implementation of TIPs in schools. Participants were 324 teachers (aged 22-70) from three public school districts in the Midwest (different from the schools in study one). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that compassion satisfaction positively predicted teachers’ implementation of TIPs while compassion fatigue negatively predicted teachers’ implementation of TIPs. In addition, teaching experience significantly moderated relations between compassion fatigue and teachers’ implementation of TIPs. Finally, training on Self-Care and Restorative Circles positively predicted teachers’ implementation of TIPs in schools. Discussion focuses on ways to provide support for students and teachers as they continue to promote the implementation of TIPs in schools.