Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

USM Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Sharon Timberlake PhD

Second Advisor

Mary Anne Peabody EdD

Third Advisor

Dan Jenkins PhD


adverse childhood experiences, resilience, social-emotional learning, trauma, Leadership and Organizational Studies


This paper examines the processes and strategies school personnel and transformational leaders may incorporate into their academic environment to support and enhance learning in students who have experienced trauma. School personnel are not always trained to address the needs of students who have experienced trauma and adverse childhood experiences. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention along with the American health organization Kaiser Permanente conducted research on the association of adverse childhood experiences with health and social problems across the lifespan of a person. Kaiser's Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study is one of the largest investigations of child abuse and neglect and later-life health and well-being. The purpose of this research paper is to explore how school leaders can incorporate the processes and strategies into their learning environment to address the needs of students who have experienced the adverse experiences such as those documented in the Kaiser study. In addition, this paper explores the current field of leadership to determine the most effective leadership approaches and strategies for implementing the recommendations found in the case study.


This thesis is restricted to USM access only.