Trauma and Triggers: Students' Perspectives on Enhancing the Classroom Experiences at an Alternative Residential Treatment-Based School

Angelique Gabrielle Day, Beverly Baroni, Cheryl Somers, Jenna Shier, Meredith Zammit, Shantel Crosby, Jina Yoon, Megan Pennefather, Jun Sung Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Youths in residential treatment (RT) are often burdened with histories of trauma exposure and experience a multitude of unique challenges for both daily functioning and developmental trajectories. Youths spend a large portion of their day in school; these educational experiences affect long-term well-being. This study uses qualitative focus group methodology to better understand the school experiences of youths placed in an RT educational environment. The sample consisted of 45 female residents placed in out-of-home care due to a child welfare or delinquency petition. Several key themes emerged that illustrate youth perceptions of the climate of RT, how strict discipline schools can affect mood, and what factors promote or hinder school engagement and disengagement. These themes included issues related to interactions with residential and school staff, teachers, classmates, and other staff; their own inabilities to interpersonally cope; and mismatches between their educational needs and services provided. The article concludes with a discussion of implications for policy and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-237
Number of pages11
JournalChildren and Schools
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Keywords

  • education well-being
  • foster care
  • juvenile delinquency
  • youth voice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education

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