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Georgia Southern faculty author child trauma series in national psychology publication

Georgia Southern University school psychology faculty Terry Diamanduros, Ph.D., Dawn Tysinger, Ph.D. and Jeffrey Tysinger, Ph.D., recently published a child trauma series, including two articles and a handout for teachers, in Comminiqué, the official publication of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

“Each of us worked with traumatized children prior to becoming university trainers,” explained Diamanduros. “From our own professional experiences and given the number of school shootings that have occurred in recent years, we became interested in developing a manuscript that focused on child trauma and the role of the school psychologist.”

The first part of the series, “Trauma and its Impact on Children,” provides information on basic core concepts about trauma such as types of trauma, protective and risk factors and how trauma impacts children on an emotional, behavioral, social and educational level.

“Trauma and the Role of the School Psychologist,” focuses on the role of the school psychologist in addressing the needs of traumatized children in a school. In the article, the faculty detail the methods for assisting students including: raising awareness among educators of trauma’s impact on children; facilitating the use of school-wide, trauma-informed practices to create an environment where traumatized children feel safe and supported; implementing trauma-informed assessment practices; and providing evidence-based mental health interventions in the school that are designed to reduce traumatic stress symptoms in children. To assist in the school-wide awareness and initiatives, a handout is included for teachers with condensed, relevant information about assisting children in these circumstances.

The faculty submitted the manuscript to Comminiqué with the intent of making the information easily accessible to field practitioners.

“We have received positive feedback about the series from NASP members including other university trainers who also have an interest in child trauma,” said Diamanduros. “The president of NASP, Dr. John Kelly, contacted us about the series and thanked us for the articles, commenting about the importance of the topic for the school psychology profession.”

According to a recent national study cited in the publication, approximately 34 million children in the U.S. have experienced at least one of nine adverse childhood experiences, which can lead to traumatic stress.

“We hope that the series will be helpful to school psychology practitioners in their work with children,” Diamanduros added. “Our primary purpose in writing the manuscript was to raise an awareness of how trauma can impact children, promote an understanding of how children respond to trauma and provide a useful resource for school psychology practitioners that promotes trauma-informed practices in schools.”

For more information about the child trauma series, contact Diamanduros at tdiamanduros@georgiasouthern.edu. To discover more about the school psychology program at Georgia Southern, visit http://coe.georgiasouthern.edu/espy/eds/.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving more than 27,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu.

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