Date of Award



© 2021 Natalie Lynne Smith

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Andrea Disque

Second Advisor

Jennifer L. Crawford

Third Advisor

Emily DeBiase


This qualitative, exploratory case study was used to explore the perceptions of public high school faculty and staff towards trauma-informed practices in the school environment. Faculty and staff attitudes toward adverse childhood experiences and their attitudes toward implementation of trauma-informed care (TIC) in the educational setting are not well known. This study applies constructivism as a theoretical framework because the research depends on the participants’ views of the topics under study. Ten faculty and staff from a suburban high school in the northeastern part of the United States participated in this exploratory case study, completed the Attitudes Related to Trauma-Informed Care Scale, and participated in a semistructured interview. The data analysis revealed four themes that included relationships, safety, training, and behavior. The most significant finding was building relationships. From the results of this study, this researcher found that, when educators take the time to build relationships with students, the impact of traumatic events might be mitigated. Additional findings of this study were focused on participant attitudes toward TIC, the TIC practices they implemented, and factors that affected TIC implementation, including professional development. The findings of this study could be useful to educators, administrators, and educational support personnel interested in TIC.


Ed.D. Dissertation