Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Child, Family, and School Psychology

First Advisor

Gloria Miller

Second Advisor

Nicholas Cutforth

Third Advisor

Bruce Uhrmacher

Fourth Advisor

Julie Anne Laser-Maira


Best practices, Implementation, Systems-level change, Trauma-informed, Trauma-informed practices


This phenomenological study sought to examine the experiences of teachers in an urban K-8 school after a system-wide whole school implementation of trauma-informed practices. The practices teachers implemented in their classrooms that aligned with their personal perceptions of trauma-informed practices and its efficacy were explored. Additionally, the personal and professional barriers to implementation were also investigated. Identified practical strategies at both the elementary and middle school levels included establishing and maintaining relational trust and classroom community, actively teaching emotional regulation skills, and teaching and reinforcing rituals, routines and expectations throughout the school year. Lack of confidence and previous personal assumptions and mental models arose as being the main personal barriers to implementation, whereas a negative work climate, a need for effective leadership, more purposeful implementation with check-ins and additional system level concerns (such as time constraints and teacher turnover) were identified as professional barriers. As a result of this study, five essential domains emerged as being essential to the successful implementation of trauma-informed practices. These domains included 1) Relational Trust and Classroom Community and Culture; 2) Emotional and Physical Regulation; 3) System-Level Support: Purposeful Implementation; 4) System-Level Support: Backgrounds and Teacher Coaching; and 5) Accountability with Compassion. Outcome implications of this study were outlined using Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological model.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Marni Choice-Hermosillo


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

234 p.


Educational psychology, Education, Psychology