Assessment of adult learning outcomes from a school-based training on adverse childhood experiences science and trauma-informed care

Shanta R. Dube, Shobhana Rishi, Catherine Corr, Carlomagno C. Panlilio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Implementing trauma-informed care (TIC) practices in educational settings requires preparing school staff to understand adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and their impact to provide a restorative rather than a punitive response. Objectives: To assess learning outcomes of a TIC training delivered to kindergarten to 12-grade (K−12) staff. Participants and setting: A TIC training informed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) Framework was delivered August to December 2017 to twenty-seven K-12 staff in Southeastern U.S. Majority were women (93 %) aged 25 to 58 years; 52 % were White and 48 % were Black/African American (48 %). Methods: Curricular content included an overview of ACEs; stress physiology; recognition of symptoms in self and others; strategies for response; and self-care. A post-training questionnaire with 11 learning statements was administered to assess participants' level of agreement with learning each concept using a 5-point Likert scale. Self-reflective narratives of challenging situations with students were also submitted and qualitatively analyzed for applications of TIC. Results: Between 62.9 % to 96 % of participants agreed/strongly agreed with learning new concepts related to ACEs and their symptoms. Qualitative data indicated that participants were able to recognize stress symptoms in students and in themselves and integrate strategies learned such as breathing and creating safe space to allow students to have voice and choice. Conclusions: TIC training curriculum that includes ACEs and toxic stress science is a critical component that promotes recognition of trauma symptoms in themselves and others. Self-reflective practice using narratives is an essential training tool for implementing TIC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105777
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • ACEs
  • Education
  • Resilience
  • Teachers
  • Training
  • Trauma-informed care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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