Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP


This study sought to examine school staff perceptions of knowledge, competence, school climate and program effectiveness during and after participation in a trauma informed care professional development. The majority of the sample consisted of special areas (art, music, library) teachers and paraprofessionals from all district schools, which consisted of three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school in in a school district located in Southeast Pennsylvania approximately 20 miles from a major metropolitan city. Most of the participants were female. Participants completed a pretest survey and an identical survey following each phase. Questions on the survey pertained to each of the research questions exploring whether school staff felt they were knowledgeable about trauma and its prevalence, whether they felt they were competent to work with students who have a trauma history, whether they perceived their school culture and climate as being supportive in becoming trauma informed, and if they believed the TIPS program was effective and useful. It was hypothesized that the participants would respond positively in each case, perceiving themselves to have learned about trauma, gained competence in dealing with traumatized students, positively perceive the school culture and climate as supportive in their endeavor to become trauma informed, and would rate the TIPS program as effective and useful. Although none of the hypotheses was supported, each of the hypotheses illustrated an increase from pretest to posttest, however slight. Also, it is important to view these results with caution and considering several limitations. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

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