This study aimed to provide a foundational knowledge base from which to begin bridging the gap between research on trauma-informed, relationship-based therapeutic interventions in early childhood preschool classrooms and the practice of such classroom-based interventions. Specifically, this study identified several specific predictors (e.g., funding) and barriers (e.g., lack of knowledge and training in assessment instruments and referral options) to gaining trauma-informed knowledge and engaging in trauma-informed practices in preschool classrooms. Individuals in leadership roles at preschools were sampled anonymously with regard to their current trauma-informed knowledge and program practices. Participants included 98 preschool leaders from Florida, 36 preschool leaders from Maryland, and 34 preschool leaders from Wyoming. Descriptive statistics were calculated for the variables of interest. ANCOVA with bootstrapping was conducted to determine whether there were significant differences between programs based on their state and funding source. There was no effect of state. In contrast, funding source predicted trauma-informed knowledge and practices, with federal/state funding being related to higher levels of knowledge and trauma-informed practices. Additionally, multiple regression analyses with bootstrapping were examined to determine significant predictors of preschool leaders' trauma-informed knowledge and practices. Similarly, results indicated that programs differed significantly in trauma-informed knowledge and screening practices based on their source of funding, with federal/state funding again predicting more trauma-informed knowledge and practices. Researchers may be able to benefit from the unique information found in this study as a launching point to inform program development and disseminate community- and nation-wide models of trauma-informed care in preschool classrooms. Implications for future studies are discussed.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Kolomeyer, Ellen, "The State of Trauma-Informed Care in the Preschool" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6266.
Restricted to the UCF community until December 2023; it will then be open access.