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11-05-2017 | Original Paper | Uitgave 9/2017

Journal of Child and Family Studies 9/2017

Examining School Attachment, Social Support, and Trauma Symptomatology Among Court-Involved, Female Students

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 9/2017
Shantel D. Crosby, Cheryl L. Somers, Angelique G. Day, Meredith Zammit, Jenna M. Shier, Beverly A. Baroni


Court-involved youth (i.e., youth in the foster care and/or juvenile justice systems), and particularly those in residential placement facilities, often present with trauma histories that can impede various areas of development and functioning. These traumatic histories can negatively impact academic performance and school success, leading to poorer outcomes later in life. In particular, female youth in these systems exhibit unique responses to traumatic experiences that further complicate healthy development. This study assesses female, court-involved students (n = 141), exploring the relationship between school attachment and school involvement, school social support (from peers, teachers, and other staff), and trauma symptomatology among a sample of residential placement students exposed to a trauma-informed teaching intervention over the course of a school year. It was hypothesized that higher school attachment/involvement and social support would be associated with lower student trauma symptomatology. As expected, findings demonstrated that students in the sample had experienced high trauma exposure, as indicated by their high trauma symptomatology. Unexpectedly, they also had high school attachment. Furthermore, higher school attachment was associated with lower trauma symptoms among students. On the other hand, students reported lower levels of social support from classmates, which was associated with significantly higher trauma symptomatology. Implications for future research are addressed.

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