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Academic Achievement and Traumatic Stress among Primary School Students

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024332/00001

Material Information

Title: Academic Achievement and Traumatic Stress among Primary School Students
Physical Description: 1 online resource (121 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Goodman, Rachael
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: academic, achievement, counseling, culture, gender, ses, trauma
Counselor Education -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mental Health Counseling thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between traumatic stress and the academic achievement of primary school students. National educational achievement statistics show that academic underachievement is a significant problem for all students in the United States and for culturally diverse students is particular. This study utilized data from a nationally norm referenced database collected by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to assess the relationship between traumatic stress and academic underachievement for primary school students. Furthermore, it examined if the relationship between traumatic stress and academic underachievement was controlled by culture, gender, or socioeconomic status (SES). Thus far, deficit-orientated perspectives have guided programs that attempt to improve the academic achievement of students in general and culturally diverse students in particular. Traumatic stress theory allows for ecosystemic factors to be included in an understanding of academic achievement, which engenders a strength-based view of students. Linear regression analyses showed that traumatic stress was a significant negative predictor of academic achievement. Furthermore, lower socioeconomic status or culturally diverse background also predicted negative achievement. Implications of this study are that counselors and educators need to assess for traumatic stress among students, as traumatic stress has a significant impact on achievement. Interventions for traumatic stress in the school setting are needed in order address chronic underachievement of students.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Rachael Goodman.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: Sherrard, Peter A.
Local: Co-adviser: West-Olatunji, Cirecie.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2011-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0024332:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024332/00001

Material Information

Title: Academic Achievement and Traumatic Stress among Primary School Students
Physical Description: 1 online resource (121 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Goodman, Rachael
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: academic, achievement, counseling, culture, gender, ses, trauma
Counselor Education -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mental Health Counseling thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between traumatic stress and the academic achievement of primary school students. National educational achievement statistics show that academic underachievement is a significant problem for all students in the United States and for culturally diverse students is particular. This study utilized data from a nationally norm referenced database collected by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to assess the relationship between traumatic stress and academic underachievement for primary school students. Furthermore, it examined if the relationship between traumatic stress and academic underachievement was controlled by culture, gender, or socioeconomic status (SES). Thus far, deficit-orientated perspectives have guided programs that attempt to improve the academic achievement of students in general and culturally diverse students in particular. Traumatic stress theory allows for ecosystemic factors to be included in an understanding of academic achievement, which engenders a strength-based view of students. Linear regression analyses showed that traumatic stress was a significant negative predictor of academic achievement. Furthermore, lower socioeconomic status or culturally diverse background also predicted negative achievement. Implications of this study are that counselors and educators need to assess for traumatic stress among students, as traumatic stress has a significant impact on achievement. Interventions for traumatic stress in the school setting are needed in order address chronic underachievement of students.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Rachael Goodman.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: Sherrard, Peter A.
Local: Co-adviser: West-Olatunji, Cirecie.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2011-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0024332:00001


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1 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND TRAUMATIC STRESS AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS By RACHAEL DONELSON GOODMAN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS F OR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009

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2 2009 Rachael Donelson Goodman

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3 To my parents

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my committee members, Drs. Cirecie West -Olatunji, Peter A. D. Sh errard, M. David Miller, and Wayne Griffin for their insight, guidance, and support throughout my graduate studies. I greatly value the encouragement and thoughtfulness they offered to me during my doctoral program. I offer special appreciation to my co -ch air, Dr. Cirecie West Olatunji, who has been my mentor, adviser, teacher, and role model. I thank Dr. Linda Behar -Horenstein for her support and guidance, particularly during the proposal process. I also thank Jon Cohen for his assistance during the analy sis process. Finally, I extend my appreciation to my family and friends for their love, humor, and support. They have provided endless understanding and encouragement throughout my doctoral studies.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................................... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................................................................................................................ 7 LIST OF FIGURES .............................................................................................................................. 9 ABSTRA CT ........................................................................................................................................ 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................... 12 Research Questions ..................................................................................................................... 15 Hypotheses ................................................................................................................................... 15 Definition of Terms ..................................................................................................................... 16 Significance of the Study ............................................................................................................ 18 Limitati ons ................................................................................................................................... 20 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ........................................................................................................... 21 Traumatic Stress .......................................................................................................................... 21 History of Tra umatic Stress ................................................................................................ 21 Etiology of Traumatic Stress ............................................................................................... 24 Traumatic Stress without an Identified Event .................................................................... 26 Traumatic Stress among School Aged Children ....................................................................... 28 Etiology of Traumatic Stress for Children ......................................................................... 28 The Impact of Traumatic Stress .......................................................................................... 29 Interventions for Traumatic Stress ...................................................................................... 34 Underachievement among School Aged Children .................................................................... 35 Cyclical Nature of Behavior Problems and Academic Underachievement ..................... 36 Disparities in Academic Underachievement ...................................................................... 36 Attempts to Address Academic Underachievement .......................................................... 38 Traumatic Stress and Underachievement .................................................................................. 39 3 METHODOLOGY ...................................................................................................................... 43 Setting .......................................................................................................................................... 43 Participants .................................................................................................................................. 43 Operational Definiti on of Variables ........................................................................................... 44 Instrumentation ............................................................................................................................ 45 Measures of Existing Variables .......................................................................................... 48 Measure of Traumatic Stress ............................................................................................... 48 Weights ................................................................................................................................. 49 Data Collection ............................................................................................................................ 49

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6 Data Analysis ............................................................................................................................... 50 Analysis of Differences ....................................................................................................... 51 Regression Analysis ............................................................................................................ 52 4 RESULTS .................................................................................................................................... 57 Participant Descriptive Information ........................................................................................... 57 Academic Achievement and Gender .......................................................................................... 58 Academic Achievement and Culture ......................................................................................... 59 Academic Achievement and Socioeconomic Status ................................................................. 61 Academic Ach ievement and Traumatic Stress .......................................................................... 62 Academic Achievement and Gender, Culture, SES, and Traumatic Stress ............................ 63 5 DISCUSSION .............................................................................................................................. 91 Factors Influencing Academic Achievement ............................................................................ 91 Traumatic Stress .................................................................................................................. 91 Gender .................................................................................................................................. 92 Culture .................................................................................................................................. 93 Socioeconomic Status .......................................................................................................... 95 Limitations ................................................................................................................................... 96 Implications for Practice ............................................................................................................. 97 Traumatic Stress Assessment ................................................................................................ 97 Special Educatio n Assessment .............................................................................................. 99 Traumatic Stress Interventions in Schools ......................................................................... 100 Implications for Policy .............................................................................................................. 101 Implications for Future Research ............................................................................................. 103 Traumatic Stress Assessment .............................................................................................. 103 Traumatic Stress Treatment ................................................................................................. 103 Academic Achievement ....................................................................................................... 105 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................................. 107 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ........................................................................................................... 121

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 Symptoms of trauma stress in school aged children ............................................................ 41 2 2 Symptoms of trauma stress and similar academic underachievement related behaviors in school aged children ......................................................................................... 42 3 1 Measurements for existing variables ..................................................................................... 54 3 2 Measurements for traumatic stress ........................................................................................ 55 4 1 Distribution of students in socioeconomic status (SES) categories by culture .................. 66 4 2 Results of multinomial logit analyzing the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and culture ................................................................................................................... 67 4 3 Results of follow up t tests analyzing the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and culture ................................................................................................................... 68 4 4 Results of t tests analyzing the relationship between average academic achievement scores by gender ..................................................................................................................... 69 4 5 Results of t tests analyzing the relationship between yearly absences and socioeconomic status (SES) ................................................................................................... 70 4 6 Mean academic achievement scores by culture ................................................................... 71 4 7 Results of linear regression analyzing the relationship between academic achievement by culture .......................................................................................................... 71 4 8 Results of follow up t te sts analyzing the relationship between academic achievement and culture ........................................................................................................ 72 4 9 Distribution of yearly absences by culture ........................................................................... 72 4 1 0 Results of multinomial logit analyzing the relationship between yearly absences and culture ..................................................................................................................................... 74 4 11 Results of follow up t tests analyzing the relationship between yearly absences and cultur e ..................................................................................................................................... 75 4 12 Distribution of individualized education plan (IEP) on file by culture .............................. 75 4 13 Results of logit analyzing the relationship between individualized educational plan (IEP) on file and culture ......................................................................................................... 76

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8 4 14 Results of follow up t tests analyzing the relationship between individualized educational plan (IEP) on file and culture ............................................................................ 77 4 15 Distribution of mean academic achievement by socioeconomic status (SES) ................... 77 4 16 Results of linear regression an alyzing the relationship between academic achievement and socioeconomic status (SES) ..................................................................... 77 4 17 Results of follow up t tests analyzing the relationship between academic achievement and socioecono mic status (SES) ..................................................................... 78 4 18 Results of multinomial logit analyzing the relationship between yearly absences and socioeconomic status (SES) ................................................................................................... 79 4 19 Results of follow up t tests analyzing the relationship between yearly absences and socioeconomic status (SES) ................................................................................................... 80 4 20 Results of logit analyzing the relationship between indiv idualized educational plan (IEP) on file and socioeconomic status (SES) ...................................................................... 81 4 21 Results of t tests analyzing the relationship between average achievement scores and traumatic stress ....................................................................................................................... 82 4 22 Results of t tests analyzing the relationship between yearly absences and traumatic stress ........................................................................................................................................ 82 4 23 Results of logit analyzing the relationship between traumatic stress and culture .............. 84 4 24 Results of follow up t tests analyzing relationship between traumatic stress and culture ..................................................................................................................................... 85 4 25 Results of logit analyzing the relationship between traumatic stress and socioeconomic status (SES) ................................................................................................... 85 4 26 Results of linear regression analyzing the relationship between reading achievement and gender, culture, socioeconomic status (SES), and traumatic stress ............................. 86 4 27 Results of linear regression analyzing the relationship between mathematics achievement and gender, culture, socioeconomic status (SES), and traumatic stress ....... 87 4 28 Results of linear regression analyzing the relationship between science achievement and gender, culture, socioeco nomic status (SES), and traumatic stress ............................. 88 4 29 Results of linear regression analyzing the relationship between absences and gender, culture, socioeconomic status (SES), and traumatic stress .................................................. 89 4 30 Results of logit analyzing the relationship between having an individualized education plan (IEP) on file and gender, culture, socioeconomic status (SES), and traumatic stress ....................................................................................................................... 90

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9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 Distribution of European American, Latina/o, and African American students in socioeconomic status (SES) categories by cult ure ............................................................... 66 4 2 Distribution of yearly absences for sample .......................................................................... 69 4 3 Distribution of individualized education plan (IEP) on file for sam ple ............................. 69 4 4 Distribution of students with an individualized educational plan (IEP) on file by gender ...................................................................................................................................... 70 4 5 Distribution of yearl y absences by culture for European American, Latina/o, African American, and Asian students ............................................................................................... 73 4 6 Distribution of individualized educational plan (IEP) on file by culture for European America n, Latina/o, African American, and Asian students ............................................... 76 4 7 Distribution of yearly absences by socioeconomic status (SES) ........................................ 79 4 8 Di stribution of individualized educational plan (IEP) on file by socioeconomic status (SES) ....................................................................................................................................... 80 4 9 Distribution of students with traumatic stress for sample ................................................... 81 4 10 Distribution of average achievement scores by traumatic stress ......................................... 82 4 11 Distribution of individualized education plan (IEP) on file by traumatic stress ................ 83 4 12 Distribution of traumatic stress by gender ............................................................................ 83 4 13 Distribution of traumatic stress by culture for European American, Latina/o African American, and Asian students ............................................................................................... 84 4 14 Distribution of traumatic stress by socioeconomic status (SES) ......................................... 85

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10 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Gr aduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND TRAUMATIC STRESS AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS By Rachael Donelson Goodman May 2009 Cha ir: Peter A. D. Sherrard Cochair: Cirecie A. West Olatunji Major: Mental Health Counseling The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between traumat ic stress and the academic achievement of primary school students. National educational a chievement statistics show that academic underachievement is a significant problem for all students in the United States and for culturally diverse students is particular. This study utilized data from a nationally norm referenced database collected by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to assess the relationship between traumatic stress and academic underachievement for primary school students. Furthermore, it examined if the relationship between traumatic stress and academic underachievem ent was controlled by culture, gender, or socioeconomic status (SES). Thus far, deficit -orientated perspectives have guided programs that attempt to improve the academic achievement of students in general and culturally diverse students in particular. Trau matic stress theory allows for ecosystemic factors to be included in an understanding of academic achievement, which engenders a strength -based view of students. Linear regression analyses showed that traumatic stress was a significant negative predictor o f academic achievement. Furthermore, lower socioeconomic status or culturally diverse background also predicted negative achievement. Implications of this study are that counselors and educators

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11 need to assess for traumatic stress among students, as trauma tic stress has a significant impact on achievement. Interventions for traumatic stress in the school setting are needed in order address chronic underachievement of students.

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In the United State s only 68% of students who enter 9th grade will graduate with a regular diploma in 12th grade (Orfield, Losen, Wald & Swanson, 2004). While the graduation rate for European American students is 75%, the graduation rate is lower among culturally diverse groups: 50% for African American student s, 51% for Native American students, and 53% for Latin a/ o students. European American males graduate at a rate of 71% versus 77% for European American females, while African American, Native American, and Latino males graduate at rates of 43%, 47%, and 48% respectively. Failure to graduate presents a significant problem for these students, as a high school diploma is considered necessary to earn a living wage. Concerns about the academic performance of socially marginalized students are evident throughout the educational process (Steele, 1997). Culturally diverse students show significant ly lower school achievement compared to their European American counterparts in a variety of areas (Osborne, 1999). African Americans are disproportionately reprimanded at school and more severe punishments are used such as corporal punishment, suspension, and expulsion (Townsend, 2000). Culturally diverse students are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system as well as in special education where the services they re ceive are often inadequate (The Civil Rights Project, 2002). Biases in the assessment system lead to the overrep resentation of African American males in special education (Harry & Anderson, 1995). Outcomes of participating in this program include stigmati zation, low self -esteem, and inadequate preparation for the future. African American males show chronic poor performance and behavior problems at school (Davis, 2003). Despite efforts to address this problem, underachievement persists among culturally diverse students (Hudley & Graham, 2001). Indeed, efforts to address academic

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13 underachievement have been based on deficit -oriented views that actually contribute to academic underachievement, particularly for culturally diverse students ( For d, Harris, Tyson & Trotman, 2002). Such deficit oriented views do not take into account ecosystemic factors that create barriers to academic achievement for students. Traumatic stress theory identifies the effect that ecosystemic factors may have on an individuals function ing. Thus, this theory can be used to improve the way in which educators and counselors intervene with children in order to improve their academic achievement from a strength -based perspective. Traditionally, mental health practice has relied on the Ameri can Psychiatric Associations (APA), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM ) to guide case conceptualization, assessment, and treatment (Eriksen & Kress, 2006; Mead, Hohenshil & Kusum, 1997; Seligman, 1999; White, 2002). The field of tr auma has been greatly influenced by the DSM since posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was a dded as a diagnosis to the third edition in 1980 (Halpern & Tramontin, 2007; Scaer, 2001). Since that time, m ental health professionals have been able to diagnose c lient s with PTSD, receive insurance coverage and seek legal recourse when appropriate (Burstow, 2005; Cosgrove, 2005; James & Gilliland, 2005; McLaughlin, 2002; White). The addition of PTSD to the DSM had further implications for mental health, as it enge ndered the systematic study of trauma and trauma treatment ( van der Kolk & McFarlane, 1996). In general, the DSM informed how trauma was to be understood (Becker, 1995; Danieli, 1998; Herman, 1997) The definition of trauma legitimized certain events as tr aumatic (Burstow, 2005) and articulated the expected effects of trauma on the traumatized individual (Rothschild, 2000; van der Kolk & McFarlane ). Furthermore, the DSM informed and guided mental health treatment for traumatized individuals (Becker ; Danieli ; Eriksen & Kress, 2006; Herman ).

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14 According to some mental health professionals, despite considerable revisions in the DSM the PTSD criteria continue to have significant limitations ( Burstow, 2003; Halpern & Tramontin, 2007). The definition of trauma is criticized for disregarding individuals unique perceptions (Rothschild, 2000) and for excluding experiences that are common in certain communities (Levine, 1997), such as patriarchal violence experienced by women (Burstow, 2003, 2005). Ivey and Ivey (1998) reported that the individual focus does not acknowledge that the trauma may be located within the family or larger context. Recent literature has noted that experiences of systemic oppression and transgenerational trauma can be significant sources of tra umatic stress and therefore should be included in conceptualization and treatment of traumatic stress (Bryant Davis & Ocampo, 2005; Carter, 2007). Given this expanding understanding of trauma, it is reasonable to expect that the rate of trauma exposure a nd therefore traumatic stress among children is much higher than previously thought. Indeed, scholars have noted that the impact of traumatic stress on mental health is likely underestimated (McFarlane, 2000). However little is actually known about the r ate of trauma in the population (Kessler, 2000). There is variance regarding the prevalence of exposure to trauma the development of symptoms and PTSD (Breslau, 2002). One study found that adolescents meet PTSD criteria at a rate of less than 3% (Cuffe e t al. 1998). Traumatic symptoms in children include irritability, trouble concentrating, hypervigilance or worrying about safety, and trying to avoid thinking about the traumatic event (Graham Bermann & Levendosky, 1998; Schuster et al., 2001). Children who have experienced traumatic violence also may experience intrusive thoughts about the traumatic event and increased startle response (Graham -Bermann & Levendosky). Children may also have difficulty sleeping or may experience nightmares (Schuster et al.) Schwartz and Perry note d that trauma can result in

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15 behavior disorders, anxiety, phobias, and depression for exposed children (cited from Perry, Pollard, Blakely, Baker & Vigilante, 1995). Using an ad hoc data set, t he purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between traumatic stress and the academic achievement of primary school students. Research Questions In order to develop an understanding of the relationship between traumatic stress and academic achievement, this study examined five rese arch questions. What is the relationship between academic achievement and gender for primary school students? What is the relationship between academic achievement and culture for primary school students? What is the relationship between academic achievem ent and socioeconomic status (SES) for primary school students? What is the relationship between academic achievement and traumatic stress for primary school students? What is the relationship between traumatic stress and academic achievement for primary s chool students when controlled by culture, gender, and SES? Hypotheses Null hypotheses were developed for each of the five research questions, as follows. Ho1: There is no relationship between academic achievement and gender for primary school students. H o2: There is no relationship between academic achievement and culture for primary school students. Ho3: There is no relationship between academic achievement and socioeconomic status (SES) for primary school students. Ho4: There is no relationship between academic achievement and traumatic stress for primary school students. Ho5: There is no relationship between traumatic stress and academic achievement when controlled by culture, gender, and socioeconomic status (SES) for primary school students.

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16 Definition of Terms Following are definitions of terms used in the study. Academic Achievement: a students level of success as measured by the standards of the school system (Robinson & Biran, 2006), such as grades, standardized test scores, and amount of school completed Academic Underachievement: s chool performance that is not commensurate with the students ability (Reis & McCoach, 2002) Lower grades, placement in special education courses, retention, and failing to graduate are indicators African American: i ndividual who self identifies as belonging to a cultural group from the United States with African ancestry (Paniagua, 2005) Arousal: a symptom of traumatic stress characterized by any of the following: (a) sleep disturbance, (b) difficulty concentrating, (c) increased startle response or hypervigilance, and (d) irritability and anger ( American Psychiatric Association 2000) Avoidance: a symptom of traumatic stress characterized by numbing as evidenced by any of the following: (a) efforts to avoid thoughts feeling, behaviors, or activities that are associated with a traumatic event, (b) lack of memory for a traumatic event, (c) feelings of detachment from others, (d) sense of a foreshortened future, (e) flat affect or diminished interest in previous intere sts ( American Psychiatric Association 2000) Culturally Appropriate Pedagogy: t eaching practices tha t take into account and respond appropriately to cultural factors (Nguyen, Terlouw & Pilot, 2006) Culturally Diverse: i ndividual who identifies as a member of a cultural group other than European American, including African American, Latin a/ o, and Native American (Sue & Sue, 2003) Culture: g roup identification based on shared and transgenerational values, beliefs, behaviors, and perspectives (Diller, 2007) Externalizing Behaviors: p roblem behaviors symptomatic of traumatic stress that include aggression and delinquency ( Graham Bermann & Levendosky, 1998) Hegemony: d omination or privilege of one individual or group over another (Naidoo, 1996) Internalizing B ehaviors: p roblem behaviors symptomatic of traumatic stress that include anxiety/depression, withdrawal, and somatic complaints ( Graham Bermann & Levendosky, 1998) Latina/o: i ndividual who self identifies as belonging to a cultural group from the United S tates with ancestry from a Latin American country (Paniagua, 2005)

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17 Low ability Tracking: p lacement in special education programs, including having an individualized education plan (IEP) on file with the school (Townsend, 2000) Maltreatment: p hysical or em otional abuse or neglect (Kaplan, Pelcovitz & Labruna, 1999) Multicultural Competencies: c haracteristics that include (a) being aware of ones own biases and worldview, (b) having knowledge regarding the worldviews of others, and (c) possessing skills appr opriate to engaging with culturally different individuals (Sue, Arredondo & McDavis, 1992) Native American: i ndividual who self -identifies as belonging to a cultural group from the United States with indigenous ancestry (Trimble & Thurman, 2002) Reexperien cing: a symptom of traumatic stress characterized by any of the following: (a) frequent and disruptive thoughts or nightmares about a traumatic event, (b) feeling that a traumatic event is recurring, (c) psychological distress or physiological reactivity t riggered by internal or external cues that resemble a traumatic event ( American Psychiatric Association 2000) School Disengagement: a ctions disconnecting a student from the school process, such as being absent, that may be indicators of low academic perf ormance (Alexander, Entwisle & Horsey, 1997) Socially Marginalized: i ndividuals who experience oppression due to factors such as culture, gender, or socio-economic status (Amaro & de la Torre, 2002) Socioeconomic Status (SES): a measure based on a households income and the education level and occupation of the adult(s) (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002; Tourangeau, L & Nord, 2005) Systemic Oppression: d ifferential treatment and systematic marginalization of groups and individuals based on characteristics includi ng culture, gender, class, sexual identity, religion, and more (Burstow, 2003) Transgenerational Trauma: t rauma that is passed down from one generation to another (DassBrailsford, 2007) Trauma/traumatic event/experience: a n event that is perceived by an individual to be negative, uncontrollable, and sudden that can involve actual or threatened physical pain, injury or death or actual or threatened emotional pain (Carlson, 1997) in which the individual feels no sense of control (Carter, 2007) Traumatic S tress: p sychological stress that results from a negative event leading to arousal and avoidance of the associated stimuli that triggers experiencing that occurrence in which an individual feels no sense of control ( American Psychiatric Association 2000; Rothschild, 2000; Scaer, 2001)

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18 Significance of the Study Identifying traumatic stress as a significant factor in academic achievement can allow counselors and educators to intervene more effectively in school settings. Awareness that children exhibiting ce rtain behaviors may actually be symptoms of trauma can enable counselors and educators to make more accurate assessments of childrens abilities and needs. Thus, children can be provided with appropriate interventions in order to ameliorate the effects of traumatic stress and improve academic performance. Theoretically, this study applied traumatic stress theory to the understanding of academic underachievement in order to identify this as an appropriate lens through which to understand student achievement. Furthermore, the understanding of ecosystemic perspectives through traumatic stress theory will be expanded upon, thus moving towards strengthbased orientations and away from deficit oriented views. Policy makers may have an interest in the study as it can potentially have an impact on how standards and accountability are viewed, particularly in low resourced schools that so often serve culturally diverse students (Lipman, 2006). Moreover, policy makers may wish to contextualize disproportionate educational outcomes with historical inequities in economic spheres in order to reconsider allocation of resources (King, 2005). Central to the issue of educational policy is the concern for social justice and advocacy in which policy makers ensure that public int erests align with student needs (Gillborn, 2006). Assessment of low -income and culturally diverse students is often informed by poor conceptualization due to lack of familiarity with diverse groups of people. Policy makers can become better informed by rel evant research when taking action to ensure high quality education for underperforming students. This study sought to provide such relevance and innovation. Previous research on academic achievement has examined the relationship between behavior problems a nd underachievement. Studies have found that problem behaviors including

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19 aggression, disengagement, lack of attention, low self -esteem, and elevated activity levels are associated with and contribute to academic underachievement (Arnold et al., 1999; Holme s, Slaughter & Kashini, 2001; Rabiner & Coie, 2000; Trout, Nordness, Pierce & Epstein, 2003). This research is notable because the problem behaviors associated with academic underachievement are also symptoms of traumatic stress (reexperiencing, arousal, a voidance, internalizing behaviors, and externalizing behaviors). Some research has specifically investigated the relationship between traumatic stress and academic underachievement, finding that abuse and exposure to violence are linked to academic underac hievement (Harris, Putnam & Fairbank, 2004; Margolin & Gordis, 2000; Trickett & Putnam, 1998; Veltkamp, Miller & Silman, 1994). This study extended previous research on academic underachievement and traumatic stress by using a nationally representative sa mple of primary school students. Studies that perform secondary analyses using national datasets can further knowledge about the disparities in academic achievement and inform education policy (Schneider, Carnoy, Kilpatrick, Schmidt & Shavelson, 2007). Thi s study investigated issues of culture gender, and SES on the prevalence of traumatic stress and its relationship to academic underachievement among 5th grade students. As such, this study has several implications for educational policy makers seeking to improve academic outcomes. Policy makers, including school board members, department of education administrators, and legislators, can use the results of this study to inform training, professional development, and school -wide initiatives. Teachers can rec eive training on how to recognize the symptoms of traumatic stress so that they can make appropriate referrals to mental health professionals. Additionally, teachers can be trained to provide educational interventions that can ameliorate the effects of tra umatic stress within the classroom environment. The outcomes of this research may be of interest to educational policy makers in shifting to a strength -based approach

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20 in order to enhance students resilience to traumatic stress. School -wide programs for st udents who have been identified as experiencing traumatic stress may also be useful in reducing the effects on academic achievement for these students. Finally, school counselors and other mental health professionals working in educational settings may pro vide trainings to teachers, develop programs, and intervene with children individually and in group counseling settings. Using this studys results, educational policy makers can facilitate the creation of training programs and initiatives that specificall y address the impact that traumatic stress has on academic achievement and improve these educational outcomes. Limitations This study used a nationally norm referenced data set compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Therefore, t he findings are generalizable from the sample to the population. However, there are limitations concerning validity due to the use of pre -collected data for ad hoc analyses. First, construct underrepresentation needed to be addressed in order to ensure tha t traumatic stress is indeed measured by the variables selected from the database. Second, the variables may be vulnerable to the problem of construct irrelevant variance if they contain content that they are not intended to measure. To address these valid ity concerns, the items were examined in relation to the literature in order to deem them appropriate.

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21 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW The purpose of this chapter is to present an overview of the literature relevant to this study. Literature related to the f ollowing topics will be presented: (a) traumatic stress, (b) traumatic stress among school aged children, (c) underachievement among school aged children, and (d) traumatic stress and underachievement. Traumatic Stress History of Traumatic Stress While sc holars have found references to traumatic stress and related psychological reactions perhaps as early as 2100 B.C. (BenEzra, 2004), the Western study of traumatic stress began in the late 19th century (Figley, 1985). The Western study of traumatic stress began in Europe when English surgeon John Eric Erichsen published a report about the victims of railway accidents (Weisaeth, 2002). Erichsen (1866) observed that despite having no physical injuries, the victims exhibited symptoms including loss of memory, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, and nightmares. Erichsen incorrectly attributed these symptoms to an organic rather than a psychological cause. However, his work laid the foundation for the study of traumatic stress (Halpern & Tramontin, 2007; Weisaeth) In 1883, surgeon Herbert Page published a rebuttal to Erichsens conclusion, positing that the symptoms were of a psychological nature and terming this condition nervous shock (Trimble, 1981). Thus, the foundation for traumatic stress symptoms was laid in the English medical community. Also in the late 1800s, French neurologist JeanMartin Charcot began exploring hysteria, which at the time was used to connote patients unexplained physical or emotional symptoms (Halpern & Tramontin, 2007). Charcot the orized that the symptoms were the result of the

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22 emotional impact of a traumatic incident. After studying with Charcot, physician Pierre Janet and psychiatrist Sigmund Freud and their colleagues expanded Charcots theories of hysteria. Janet stated that hy steria was characterized by the retraction of the field of personal consciousness and a tendency to the dissociation and emancipation of the systems of ideas and junctions that constitute personality (1929/1965, p. 332). Thus, he introduced the concept of dissociation as part of hysteria and traumatic stress (Straker, Watson & Robinson, 2002). Janet believed that hysteria developed because of mental weakness, while Freud, who was working in collaboration with Viennese psychoanalyst Josef Breuer, believed that hysteria resulted from repressed memories of traumatic events (Trimble, 1981). Breuer and Freud (1893/1962) investigated hysterical symptoms and began to follow the thread of memory back to traumatic experiences. Freud (1896/1962) investigated furthe r and published his findings in the Aetiology of Hysteria He concluded that womens hysterical symptoms resulted from premature sexual experiences: I therefore put forward the thesis that at the bottom of every case of hysteria there are one or more occurrences of premature sexual experience (p. 203). Within a year, Freud recanted this claim because of the unacceptable societal implications of prevalent sexual abuse and the exploration into traumatic stress was largely abandoned (Herman, 1997). However, the field of traumatic stress evolved and eventually became know as traumatic neurosis, a term coined by German neurologist Hermann Oppenheim in 1911 (Figley, 1988; Trimble). Significant developments in the field of traumatic stress occurred through the study of the psychological impacts of war (Halpern & Tramontin, 2007). American physician Abram Kardiner studied World War I and World War II veterans and attempted to create a systematic description of the features of what he called traumatic neurosis (K ardiner & Spiegel, 1947). Kardiners work eventually became the basis for the diagnostic description of posttraumatic

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23 stress disorder (Herman, 1997). Robert Jay Lifton (1967) and Charles Figley (1978) also advanced the field of trauma through their work on the traumatic stress outcomes among World War II veterans and Vietnam veterans, respectively. Traumatic stress continued to receive increasing attention due to the Vietnam veterans and the womens movements in the mid to late 1970s (Herman ; van der Kolk & van der Hart, 1989). Through these movements and due to lobbying by veterans groups, an awareness of traumatic stress resulted in the designation of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a mental illness in the third edition of the American Psychiatri c Association s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM ) in 1980 (Burstow, 2003; van der Kolk & van der Hart ). The addition of PTSD to the DSM increased interest in traumatic stress and engendered the systematic study of trauma and trauma treatment (van der Kolk & McFarlane, 1996; Zimmerman & Mattia, 1999). In general, the DSM informed how trauma was to be understood (Becker, 1995; Danieli, 1998; Herman ) and influenced the development of traumatic stress theory (Rosenthal & Wilson, 2003). The DSM diagnostic criteria for PTSD include a description of what qualifies as a traumatic event. The current edition of the DSM provides the following definition of a traumatic event: The person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others ( American Psychiatric Association 2000, p. 467). As such, the definition of trauma legitimized certain events as traumatic (Burstow, 2005). The expected effects of trauma on the traumatized individual were also provided (Rothschild, 2000; van der Kolk & McFarlane, 1996). Thus, the DSM has been used to inform and guide mental health treatment for traumatized individuals (Becke r, 1995; Danieli, 1998; Eriksen & Kress, 2006; Herman, 1997).

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24 Recently, some mental health professionals have advocated for an expanded understanding of trauma that addresses the limitations inherent in the DSM s PTSD criteria (Bryant Davis & Ocampo, 2005; Burstow, 2003; Halpern & Tramontin, 2007). In the past decade, empirical studies on the outcomes of experiencing discrimination due to culture have shown that discrimination has deleterious effects on both physical and mental health (Harrell, Hall & Taliaferro, 2003; Paradies, 2006; Williams, Neighbors & Jackson, 2003). Research in the field of counseling and psychology has found that ecosystemic factors, including racism, harassment, and oppression, can result in traumatic stress (Burstow, 2003; Carter, 2007; Watts, Griffith & Abdul -Adil, 1999). Critics of the DSM note that it limits the understanding of trauma in that it minimizes the importance of individual perception (Rothschild, 2000) and fails to acknowledge systemic and contextual factors (Ivey & I vey, 1998). Furthermore, because the PTSD definition in the DSM criteria requires that a traumatic event be physically dangerous, systemic oppression and discrimination are often excluded (Burstow). Etiology of Traumatic Stress For the purpose of this stu dy, Carlsons (1997) theory was used to frame the understanding of traumatic stress. According to Carlson, a traumatic event must meet three criteria: (a) a perception that the event is negative, (b) suddenness of the event, and (c) lack of control over t he event. Carlsons definition of trauma addresses the limitations noted above in the DSM definition in that it explicitly includes that an individuals perception is a critical component of determining that an event is traumatic. In addition, systemic fac tors, such as experiences of racism or oppression would be traumatic if they were perceived by the individual as negative, sudden, and beyond the individuals control. Carter (2007) noted that while discrimination might be frequent and expected, it is stil l beyond the individuals control and therefore potentially traumatic. As

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25 such, Carlsons theory includes individuals perceptions as well as systemic and contextual factors that may or may not be common to certain communities. Studies have shown that the majority of people will experience a traumatic event in their lifetime (Anda, Croft, et al., 1999; Anda, Chapman, et al., 2002; Breslau, 2002; Breslau, et al., 1998; Elliot, 1997). Given that traumatic events are common, mental health professionals must co ntinually find ways to effectively address traumatic stress (DePrince & Freyd, 2001). However, experiencing a traumatic event does not necessarily le ad to traumatic stress (Breslau; Breslau et al.). Breslau et al. found that women and culturally diverse in dividuals were more likely to develop PTSD over the lifetime, when compared to men and European American individuals respectively. As such, it is important to understand what factors may impact the development of traumatic stress in individuals. Carlsons (1997) theory of traumatic stress is comprised of five factors that influence an individuals response to the traumatic event: (a) individual biological factors, (b) developmental level at the time of the trauma, (c) severity of the trauma, (d) the social context of the individual both before and after the trauma, and (e) life events that occur prior and subsequent to the trauma. These factors influence the individuals perception of the traumatic event as negative, sudden, and uncontrollable, thereby incr easing or decreasing the individuals experience of traumatic stress. The symptoms of traumatic stress can be varied and may include reexperiencing (e.g. flashbacks, nightmares) avoidance (e.g. dissociation, numbing), depression, aggression, and guilt or s hame (Carlson, 1997; Elliot, 1997; Hodges, 2003; Kellerman, 2001; Marotta, 2000). Traumatic stress may also impact an individuals self -esteem, identity, and interpersonal relationships.

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2 6 Physiological symptoms of trauma develop due to the bodys nervous system response to a traumatic event, which mobilizes resources to respond to a traumatic event (Levine, 1997). The physiological response to trauma allows the body to fight, flee, or freeze in the presence of danger. In an individual who experiences a traum atic event, the limbic system may become dysfunctional, causing a state of arousal without the presence of a threat (Rothschild, 2000). Research on individuals who have experienced trauma indicates that heightened arousal may result from reduced cortisol l evels that are ineffective in halting the arousal (van der Kolk, 1994; van der Kolk & Saporta, 1993). Individuals who have experienced trauma may be more likely to experience arousal without the presence of a threat when they are reminded of the threat thr ough external stimulus, such as the smell and sound, or through internal stimulus, such as somatic symptoms (Rothschild). Thus there is a cycle of somatic symptoms and post trauma symptoms that can be triggered both internally and externally following the traumatic experience. Indeed, somatic symptoms, such as pain in specific areas of the body, nausea, and tiredness, have been linked to traumatic experiences (Allwood, Bell Dolan & Husain, 2002; Zatzick, Russo & Katon, 2003). Traumatic Stress without an Id entified Event While traumatic stress research trad itionally focused on an identified event, there is significant research demonstrating that traumatic stress can be identified through symptoms without an identified event. Research has shown that traumatic stress can be passed down from one generation to another, which is known as transgenerational trauma (Dass Brailsford, 2007). While an individual may not have directly experienced a traumatic event, he or she is may experience traumatic stress that is tra nsmitted through a parents traumatic experience (Davidson & Mellor, 2001; Goodman & West -Olatunji, 2008; Nagata, 1990). This type of trauma has been researched with Nazi Holocaust survivors children (Danieli, 1998), families of veterans from

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27 World War II and the Vietnam War (Aarts, 1998; Bernstein, 1998; Rosenheck & Fontana, 1998a, 1998b), indigenous peoples (Duran, Duran, Yellow Horse Brave Heart & Yellow Horse Davis, 1998; Raphael, Swan & Martinek, 1998), and survivors of domestic violence and child abu se (Gardner, 1999; Schechter, Brunelli, Cunningham, Brown & Baca, 2002; Simons & Johnson, 1998; Walker, 1999). In the United States, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the enslavement of Africans, and genocidal acts against indigenous peoples are three poignant examples of transgenerational trauma (Dass Brailsford, 2007). Traumatic stress symptoms from transgenerational trauma include depression, anxiety, hypervigilance, low self esteem, suicidal ideation and behavior, substance abuse violence, and loss of cultural identity (DassBrailsford; Duran et al.; Felsen, 1998; Raphael et al.; Simons & Johnson). Furthermore, systemic oppression is another source of traumatic stress symptoms in which a specific traumatic event may not be identi fied. Researchers in the fields of counseling, psychology, and public health have noted the harmful mental and physical health effects of discrimination on culturally diverse groups, including African Americans, Latin a/ o s Asian Americans, and Native Ameri cans (Harrell et al., 2003; Paradies, 2006; Williams et al., 2003). Numerous studies have linked discrimination to higher levels of psychological distress for culturally diverse individuals (Broman, Mavaddat & Hsu, 2000; Fisher, Wallace & Fenton, 2000; For man, 2003; Lightsey & Barnes, 2007; Moradi & Subich, 2003; Murry, Brown, Brody, Cutrona & Simons, 2001; Neville, Heppner, Ji & Thye, 2004; Schultz et al., 2000; Taylor & Turner, 2002). Additional psychological impacts of discrimination include lower levels of life satisfaction (Schultz et al.), lower levels of mastery (Broman et al.; Forman), lower emotional well -being (Deitch et al., 2003; Forman), depression and nonspecific distress (Kessler, Mickelson & Williams, 1999), and lower self -esteem (Fisher et a l.). Indeed, systemic oppression

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28 experienced by culturally diverse individuals can be a cause of traumatic stress (Burstow, 2003; Carter, 2007; Ponterotto, Utsey & Pedersen, 2006). Emergent literature in this area suggests that hegemony within the school s etting may cause psychological distress for students as well (Cholewa & West Olatunji, 2008). As such, even when a specific, one -time incident is not identified as a traumatic event, there is sufficient evidence to support that an individual may still expe rience traumatic stress (Goodman & West Olatunji, 2009). Thus, it may be useful to use symptoms of traumatic stress in order to identify the presence of traumatic stress instead of relying only on the identification of a single traumatic event. Traumatic Stress among School Aged Children Among children, traumatic stress is often overlooked, misinterpreted, or mistaken for other disorders (Halpern & Tramontin, 2007). Until Lenore Terrs groundbreaking study in 1976 of kidnapped school children in Chowchill a, CA, very little was known about the symptoms of traumatic stress on children (Terr, 1990). Trauma can significantly impact child development; however, identification of traumatic stress among children can be more difficult since children express themsel ves in different ways than adults (Halpern & Tramontin). For school aged children, traumatic stress often appears in behaviors notable in the classroom and often labeled as an attention deficit s conduct problems, or autism (Levine & Kline, 2007). Etiolog y of Traumatic Stress for Children For children, as for adults, a traumatic event is one that is perceived as negative, is sudden, and is uncontrollable (Carlson, 1997). A childs age can have an important impact on these factors in that developmental age may influence perceptions of events and feelings of control. A child with more secure attachments and coping skills may be more resistant to traumatic stress symptoms due to increased ability to exert control over her or his environment. Symptoms of trauma tic stress differ by age and developmental level for children in the way that symptoms are

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29 manifested (Dass -Brailsford, 2007). Reexperiencing may be manifested in play where a traumatic event is reenacted. Children may exhibit increased arousal through night terrors or bed wetting. Avoidance and numbing may be evident in children through the loss of previously acquired developmental skills or through constricted play. Symptoms may be more evident at school, where interactions with others provide greater opp ortunities for stimulation and where children may show signs of traumatic stress through struggling to concentrate on and process information (Levine & Kline, 2007). Traumatic experiences may erode childrens abilities to form safe boundaries with careg ivers and with the world, as well as a sense of self, making them vulnerable to further trauma (Scaer, 2001). The physiological responses experienced by children during trauma can impact their ability to create narrative memories and make sense of the trau matic event (Rothschild, 2000). For children, failure to create a coherent memory of trauma results in misunderstandings of the trauma, including self -blame (Gaensbauer, 2003; Terr, 1990). Without intervention, children who have experienced trauma often ha ve difficulty responding to daily stressors, and may exhibit hypervigilant behaviors, increased startle response, and dissociation (Levine & Kline, 2007). The Impact of Traumatic Stress The impact of traumatic stress has been studied for a variety of trau matic events in school aged children. Several notable literature reviews have provided a summary of the outcomes for children who experience traumatic stress. Kaplan and colleagues (1999) reviewed studies of the previous decade that examined the effects of physical and emotional abuse and neglect for children and adolescents. The outcomes of physical maltreatment in the reviewed studies demonstrated interpersonal problems, cognitive/academic impairment, aggression, and suicidal behavior and risk -taking. Chi ldren and adolescents in these studies also had higher rates of

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30 psychiatric diagnoses than non -physically maltreated children, including depression, anxiety, conduct disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD) and substance abuse. While emo tional abuse has received less attention, the authors noted that studies have found it can result in externalizing behaviors, social impairment, psychiatric disorders, low self -esteem, and suicidal behavior. In reviewing studies on child victims of sexual abuse, Trickett and Putnam (1998) note d the presence of internalizing behaviors, such as depression and anxiety, as well as externalizing behaviors, such as aggression and conduct problems. Holmes and Slap (1998) reviewed empirical studies of sexual abuse among boys in order to further the understanding of this type of trauma and ascertain its prevalence. Of the 166 studies, the prevalence rate varied widely. The authors were able to determine that boys of less than 13 years who are not European American, o f low socioeconomic status, and not living with their fathers are at greatest risk for sexual abuse. Boys who have experienced sexual abuse had higher rates of the following: PTSD, major depression, anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder, antis ocial personality disorder, paranoia, dissociation, somatization, bulimia, anger, aggressive behavior, poor self image, poor school performance, running away from home, legal trouble, suicide attempts, substance use, sexually related problems, and dropping out of school. Additionally, disclosure rates were low, indicating a significant barrier to treatment. Margolin and Gordis (2000) reviewed literature that addressed the impact of child maltreatment, community violence, and interparental violence on childr en. In general, the studies link ed these types of trauma with externalizing behaviors, internalizing behaviors, and PTSD symptoms. Psychobiological effects, cognitive consequences, and peer relations were also notable outcomes of these traumatic experience s.

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31 Empirical evidence echoes the findings of these literature reviews for various types of traumatic experiences. Some studies have investigated the outcomes of direct abuse on children as well as other traumatic experiences. Anda Croft, et al. (1999) investigated the relationship between childhood adverse experiences and smoking as well as childhood adverse experiences and depression. The researchers defined childhood adverse experiences somewhat broadly as experiencing verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, household substance abuse, a mentally ill household member, an incarcerated household member, parental separation or divorce occurred, or battered mother. The study found that both smoking and depression increased as the number of childhood adver se events increased. In a similar study, Anda Chapman, et al. (2002) found that boys who experienced adverse childhood experiences were more likely to impregnate a teenage girl. A derivation of the study also found that boys who were abused as children ha d increased involvement with teen pregnancy (Anda Feletti, et al., 2001). Other studies have examined only direct abuse and its effects on children. Flaherty et al. (2006) found that experiences of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse increased the rate of parent reported poor health and serious illness. Streeck -Fischer and van der Kolk (2000) note that children who were exposed to chronic abuse or maltreatment may exhibit particularly complex traumatic stress symptoms that include d aggression, learning difficulties, behavior problems, dissociation, and hyperarousal. Boney-McCoy and Finkelhor (1995, 1996) investigated the outcomes of victimization, including physical assault, sexual assault, or completed or attempted kidnapping for youths ages 10 16. Comp ared to youths who had not been victimized, victimized youths showed higher rates of PTSD symptoms (avoidance/numbing, reexperiencing, and high arousal) depression, sadness, and trouble with a teacher. Females exposed to nonparental family violence showed depressive symptomology,

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32 while males did not (Boney -McCoy & Finkelhor, 1996). Wozniak et al. (1999) found that children and adolescents who experienced trauma were more likely to develop major depression. Briscoe Smith and Hinshaw (2006) found that girls with ADHD had a higher rate of past abuse than did girls not diagnosed with ADHD. The girls who had been diagnosed with ADHD and who had an abuse history also had a higher rate of externalizing behaviors and peer rejection. Studies have also examined the e ffects of disasters on children. Following Hurricane Andrew, children in grades 4, 5, and 6 exhibited increased anxiety (La Greca, Silverman & Wasserstein, 1998). Additionally, African American children exhibited more post trauma symptoms. Of the children exposed to Hurricane Andrew, 76% had some degree of posttraumatic symptomology, including reexperiencing, arousal, or numbing (Vernberg, La Greca, Silverman & Prinstein, 1996). In a national survey following the September 11th terrorist attacks, 35% of ch ildren, as reported by their parents, exhibited at least one of the following traumatic stress symptoms: avoidance, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbance, irritability, and nightmares (Schuster et al., 2001). Additionally, parents reported that 47% o f children were worried for their own safety or the safety of loved ones. Other studies have exa mined the impact on children exposed to domestic violence. Children who were either exposed to domestic violence or exposed to domestic violence and also abuse d were more likely than children who did not experience exposure to violence or abuse to exhibit PTSD symptoms and have difficulty regulating their emotions (Shipman, Rossman & West, 1999). Graham Bermann and Levendosky (1998) studied the impact of domesti c violence on children (ages 7 12). They found that of those children exposed to the emotional or physical abuse of their mother 13% met criteria for PTSD diagnosis. However, over half suffered from at least one of the PTSD symptoms ( avoidance, reexperien cing, and arousal). Additionally, children

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33 experiencing PTSD symptoms also had significantly greater internalizing and externalizing behavior problems than did children without PTSD symptoms. Kernic, Wolf, et al. (2003) and Kernic, Holt, et al. (2002) have studied the outcomes for children who are exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) perpe trated on their mothers. Kernic, Wolf, et al. found that children who were exposed to their mothers IPV were more likely to exhibit externalizing behaviors, such a s aggression and delinquency, and overall behavior problems, while children who were also maltreated were also more likely to also exhibit internalizing behaviors, such as anxiousness, depression, or withdrawing. Kernic Holt, et al. f ound that children ex posed to their mothers IPV were more likely to be suspended from school and more likely to express health or emotional concerns that resulted in a school nurse visit and being sent home from school. Empirical evidence also shows the effects of traumatic stress on adolescents. Cuffe et al. (1998) studied older adolescents (ages 16 to 22) and found that female adolescents and African American adolescents were more likely to experience a traumatic event than male adolescents and European American adolescents respectively. Of those who had experienced a traumatic event, over half had at least one PTSD symptom, while 3% of females and 1% of males satisfied the PTSD criteria. Carrion and Steiner (2000) studied the rates of trauma and disassociation among adoles cent juvenile probation detainees. The study found that almost 100% of the detainees had a history of traumatic events, as measured by physical, emotional, and sexual abuse or emotional and physical neglect. Additionally, almost 30% presented with disassoc iation. Lansford et al. (2002) found that maltreated adolescents were significantly more likely than non -maltreated adolescents to have the following symptoms: aggression, depression, anxiety, dissociation, PTSD symptoms, social problems, thought problems, and social

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34 withdrawal. Also, maltreated adolescents were absent from school at higher rates and were less likely to anticipate that they would attend college. Overall, empirical evidence shows that children who experience various types of traumatic event s resulting in traumatic stress tend to exhibit the traditional PTSD symptoms of reexperiencing, avoidance, and arousal. These studies indicate that internalizing behaviors and externalizing behaviors are prevalent outcomes of traumatic stress as well. Thi s is significant in that measures of traumatic stress that rely only on identifying trauma through the symptoms of reexperiencing, avoidance, and arousal, may not effectively identify all children who are experiencing traumatic stress. As such, traumatic s tress could be misidentified in children and therefore untreated. Table 2 1 outlines the symptoms of traumatic stress in school aged children. Interventions for Traumatic Stress Treatment for traumatic stress among children has lagged behind treatment for adults (Carlson, 1997). Studies examining treatments for traumatic stress among children and adolescents have investigated various modalities. Chemtob, Nakashima, and Hamada (2002) tested the efficacy of a school -based community -wide screening followed by a psychosocial intervention in treating the disaster related trauma symptoms of children, including reexperiencing, avoidance, and arousal. The study found that group treatment had a higher retention rate than individual treatment, but that the two treatm ents did not differ in efficacy. Kaplan et al. (1999) also reviewed treatment of children and adolescents who had been emotionally or physically abused or neglected. They found that treatments typically focus on play therapy, as well as anger management, s ocial skills, and cognitive -behavioral therapy. Effective trauma treatment should address the physiological symptoms children experience due to nervous system arousal. Psychoeducation can be used to normalize the presence of somatic symptoms (Lieberman & Van Horn, 2003). Next, techniques can be used

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35 that address somatic symptoms, including body awareness (Rothschild, 2000) and Somatic Experiencing (Levine, 1997). Both techniques help an individual become aware of and understand bodily sensations related to trauma. Interventions might include drawing or talking about body sensations to allow the child to gradually and safely experience sensations and discharge energy immobilized due to the trauma (Levine & Kline, 2007). Such interventions assist in reducing arousal in the absence of a threat, while also promoting trust in arousal sensations when a threat is present (Lieberman & Van Horn). Treatment for school aged children can also focus on processing the traumatic event with the child to increase their und erstanding (Halpern & Tramontin, 2007). Therapies that focus on using a childs internal and external resources can be effective in helping a child feel empowered in the process of transforming traumatic symptoms (Levine & Kline, 2007). Furthermore, as nar rative memory is often compromised by a traumatic event, counseling interventions can assist children in contextualizing the event so that arousal and fear associated with the event are reduced (Scaer, 2001). Underachievement among School Aged Children Th e chronic underachievement among students in the U.S. is evident in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nations Report Card, produced by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the U.S. Department of Education In fourth grade, only 32% of students were found to be at or above proficient in reading (Donahue, Finnegan, Lutkus, Allen & Campbell, 2001). Academic underachievement can have negative outcomes for the child, including reduced opportunities in life, dis engagement from school, and deviant behaviors (Masten & Coatsworth, 1998). Only 68% of students who enter 9th grade in the U.S. will graduate with a regular diploma in 12th grade (Orfield et al. 2004). As a high school

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36 diploma is considered necessary to e arn a living wage, failure to persist in school presents a significant problem. Therefore, academic underachievement is a critical issue. Cyclical Nature of Behavior Problems and Academic Underachievement Arnold and colleagues (1999) described a cyclical model of behavior problems and academic underachievement for school aged children where each contributes to and exacerbates the other. Children who are not achieving academically are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior, to feel increasingly frust rated, to disengage, and to have lower self -esteem. Furthermore, behavior problems are associated with behaviors that contribute to academic underachievement, including noncompliance, lack of attention, and elevated activity levels. The comprehensive revie w of literature from 1961 to 2000 on the academic achievement of children who were considered emotionally and behaviorally disordered conducted by Trout et al. (2003) confirmed that there is a reciprocal relationship between academic underachievement and p roblem behaviors. In a study of children that develop conduct disorder, Holmes et al. (2001) observed that the associated behavior problems, including delinquency and disruptiveness, often contributed to academic underachievement but academic problems may also have contributed to the development of behavior problems. Rabiner and Coie (2000) found that attention problems predicted reading underachievement in a longitudinal study of children in kindergarten through second grade. Disparities in Academic Under achievement The problem of academic underachievement is differential among various groups, in particular culture, gender, and SES (Harry & Anderson, 1995; Steele, 1997; Tate, 1997). Educational research has consistently found that SES has a significant impact on student academic achievement (Sirin, 2005). According to the 2000 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 14% of 4th grade students eligible for free or reduced lunch (FRL) were found

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37 to be at or above proficient in reading achievement, while 41% of students not eligible for FRL tested at or above proficient (Donahue et al., 2001). In mathematics the gap was even wider, with only 9% of students eligible for FRL at or above proficient, while 33% of ineligible students were in this same cat egory (Braswell et al., 2001). Schools with a high percentage of FRL eligible students also have lower graduation rates than schools with a low percentage of FRL students (Orfield et al., 2004). Students from lower SES backgrounds face additional barriers to academic achievement. Across the U.S., states spend an average of $900 less per student each year on students from low income districts versus districts with the fewest poor students (Education Trust, 2002). At the secondary level an average of 24% of teachers lack either a major or minor in their subject area; in high poverty schools this number increases to 34%, putting low income students at greater risk for underachievement due to poor teacher quality (Jerald, 2002). Culturally diverse children, Afr ican American, Latina/o, and Native American, exhibit academic underachievement (Moore, Ford & Milner, 2005). Disparities in achievement are greater among culturally diverse students; while 40% of European American students were at or above proficient in r eading, African American, Latina/o, and Native American proficiency levels were 12%, 16%, and 17%, respectively. Similar disparities are found in other school subject areas, where African American and Latina/o students scored significantly lower than Europ ean American students in: mathematics (Braswell et al., 2001), history (Lapp, Grigg & Tay -Lim, 2002), and geography (Weiss, Lutkus, Hildebrant & Johnson 2002). Although Asian American students are viewed as the model minority, certain ethnic groups within this cultural group also experience chronic underachievement. Specifically, Vietnamese and Pacific Islander students suffer from high dropout rates, and poor standardized test performance (Kim, Rendon &

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38 Valadez, 1998). Educational success varies by gende r, with 27% of fourth grade males at or above proficient in reading and 36% of females at the same level (Donahue et al., 2001). However, 28% of males were at or above proficient in mathematics, while 24% of females were at this level (Braswell et al.). F emales, African Americans, and lower SES individuals may experience stereotyped threat in regards to their presumed lack of academic ability (Steele, 1997). Teacher expectations of these culturally diverse and lower income students also tend to be lower, n egatively impacting student performance (Hale, 2001; Tatum, 2007). Junior high school students perceive that culturally diverse males are academically disengaged (Hudley & Graham, 2001). African Americans are under represented in gifted programs and over r epresented in special education programs (Ford, 1995). Additionally, African American males continue to show disparity when compared to their peers in terms of academic achievement (Davis, 2003; McMillan, 2003; Osborne, 1999) and are over -represented in sp ecial education (Harry & Anderson, 1994). African American females tend to be excluded from advanced coursework in critical areas of mathematics and science ( West Olatunji et al. 2007). Indeed, culture class, and gender may all affect academic achieveme nt and therefore the intersection of these identities must be considered (OConnor, 1999). Attempts to Address Academic Underachievement Efforts to address academic underachievement have generally been based on deficit oriented views that actually contrib ute to academic underachievement, particularly for culturally diverse students ( Crozier, 2005; Ford et al., 2002). Reductionist views have informed programs such as special education and remediation, which tend to hypothesize that students fail to succeed due to deficits within the child or within the childs culture ( Robinson & Biran, 2006; Trent, Artiles & Englert, 1998). Deficit -oriented programs within the educational system have

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39 failed to improve academic outcomes ( Garza & Merchant, 2006; Hudley & Graham, 2001). As such, there is increasing focus in educational research on the use of strength-based approaches (Farmer et al., 2005; Trent et al.). Research has shown the cyclical nature of behavior problems with academic underachievement as well as the si milarity of these behavioral problems. Indeed, Levine and Kline (2007) noted that traumatic stress symptoms are often observed as behavioral problems, posing the problem of differentiating between symptoms of traumatic stress. For school aged children, aca demic underachievement related behaviors appear to correspond in large part to the symptoms of traumatic stress (see table 2 2). As such, explicitly examining the relationship between traumatic stress and academic underachievement may provide educators, co unselors, and educational policy makers with strength based ways in which to intervene with children to address underachievement. Traumatic Stress and Underachievement Some studies have examined the association between traumatic stress and academic underac hievement. While results have been somewhat mixed, in general studies have found that abuse and exposure to violence are linked to academic underachievement (Harris et al. 2004; Margolin & Gordis, 2000; Tri ckett & Putnam, 1998; Veltkamp et al. 1994). Kin ard (2001) found that children who were maltreated had significantly lower academic achievement scores than children who were not maltreated. Jones, Trudinger, and Crawford (2004) found that among children who were referred for sexual abuse, over one quart er showed academic underachievement or in tellectual impairment. Zolotor et al. (1999) found that maltreated children had both poorer academic and poore r adaptive functioning. Holmes et al. (2001) observed that children who are exposed to violence or neglec t were more likely to develop conduct disorder, which was associated with academic underachievement. Shonk and Cicchetti (2001) studied the

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40 impact of maltreatment on children, ages 5 to 12, who were socioeconomically disadvantaged. As compared to non -maltr eated children, the maltreated children exhibited more social skills deficits, lower ego resiliency, and less academic engagement. The authors used these measures to assess the childrens academic achievement as these are considered essential capacities fo r academic achievement. Further research is needed to explore the links between traumatic stress and academic underachievement in school aged children. In summary, traumatic stress has been shown to have a significant impact on psychological functioning. I ndeed, among children, traumatic stress has five primary symptoms: reexperiencing, avoidance, arousal, internalizing behaviors, and externalizing behaviors. For children, academic underachievement is also related to behavior problems and more so for cultur ally diverse children. Some research has found correlations between academic underachievement in children and traumatic stress symptoms. This study extended prior research that has examined traumatic stress without having identified a known traumatic event This study investigated issues of culture, gender, and SES on the prevalence of traumatic stress and its relationship to academic underachievement among 5th grade students. By recognizing traumatic stress through symptoms at the fifth grade level, educat ors and counselors can than intervene to prevent the longterm outcomes of academic underachievement.

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41 Table 2 1. Symptoms of trauma stress in school aged children Traumatic stress symptom Explication of symptom Reexperiencing American Psychiatric Assoc iation 2000; Carlson, 1997; Elliot; 1997; Marotta, 2000 Nightmares Flashbacks Psychological reactivity Intrusive thoughts Avoidance American Psychiatric Association ; 2000; Carlson, 1997; Elliot; 1997; Kellerman, 2001; Marotta, 2000 Inability to recall p arts of the trauma Efforts to avoid thoughts or activities Emotional detachment Numbing, restricted range of affect Dissociation Sense of foreshortened future Arousal American Psychiatric Association 2000; Elliot; 1997; Marotta, 2000 Hyperactivity Restle ssness Difficulty concentrating Irritability Sleep disturbance Exaggerated startle response Hypervigilance Internalizing behaviors Carlson, 1997; Elliot; 1997; Hodges, 2003; Kellerman, 2001 Anxiety Depression Withdrawal Low self -esteem Guilt/shame Exter nalizing behaviors Carlson, 1997; Elliot; 1997; Kellerman, 2001 Aggression Delinquency Acting out behaviors

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42 Table 2 2 Symptoms of trauma stress and similar academic underachievement related behaviors in school aged children Traumatic stress symptom E xplication of symptom Academic underachievement behaviors Reexperiencing American Psychiatric Association 2000; Carlson, 1997; Elliot; 1997; Marotta, 2000 Nightmares Flashbacks Psychological reactivity Intrusive thoughts Social skills problems Frustrat ion Avoidance American Psychiatric Association ; 2000; Carlson, 1997; Elliot; 1997; Kellerman, 2001; Marotta, 2000 Inability to recall parts of the trauma Efforts to avoid thoughts or activities Emotional detachment Numbing, restricted range of affect Dis sociation Sense of foreshortened future Disengagement Arousal American Psychiatric Association 2000; Elliot; 1997; Marotta, 2000 Hyperactivity Restlessness Difficulty concentrating Irritability Sleep disturbance Exaggerated startle response Hypervigila nce Elevated activity levels Difficulty concentrating Internalizing behaviors Carlson, 1997; Elliot; 1997; Hodges, 2003; Kellerman, 2001 Anxiety Depression Withdrawal Low self -esteem Guilt/shame Low self esteem Disengagement Externalizing behaviors Carl son, 1997; Elliot; 1997; Kellerman, 2001 Aggression Delinquency Acting out behaviors Aggression Delinquency Disruptiveness

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43 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This study examined the relationship between traumatic stress and underachievement among school aged childr en. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the methodology, including the setting, participants, variables, instrumentation, data collection, and data analysis. Setting This study utilized data from The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 199899 (ECLS -K), which was a data set collected by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The dataset included students from public and private schools across the United States. Data for the study was collected on the same children beginning in the kindergarten year through 8th grade at the following intervals: fall and the spring of kindergarten (199899), fall and spring of 1st grade (19992000), spring of 3rd grade (2002), spring of 5th grade (2004), and spring of 8 th grade (2007) Participants The participants in the ECLS -K longitudinal study were a nationally representative cohort of children who attended kindergarten during the 199899 school year F or the purpose of this study, data collected when the children w ere in fifth g rade, in spring of the 200304 school year was used The sample in the fifth grade year was based on the selected participants from earlier years. For the base year data collection, a multistage probability design was used to select particip ants that would be a nationally representative sample of kindergarteners (Tourangeau et al. 2005). For the first grade data collection, the sample was freshened to include children who were not enrolled in kindergarten and thus has been excluded from the base year sample. Only a subsample of students who moved to a new school between kindergarten and firth grade

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44 continued to be included. For the third grade sampling, the same participants were included as in first grade. A subsample was included of childre n who transferred to a new school, except for children who did not speak English at home who were all followed. In the fifth grade year, children were excluded due to (a) ineligibility in a previous collection (due to death or moving out of the country), ( b) parental refusal, (c) missing prior data, or (d) former subsamples. Children who moved to a new school were subsampled at a lower rate than in previous data collections. Thus the total number of respondents was 11,820. Data on these children was obtai ned from the children, their parents/guardians, their teachers, their school administrators, and their school office staff. Operational Definition of Variables T he following variables were used for the study : traumatic stress, academic achievement, school disengagement, low ability tracking, gender, culture, and socioeconomic status Operational definitions of the variables were as follows. Traumatic stress: Indicates that the student exhibited four of the five criteria for traumatic stress, including reex periencing, avoidance, and arousal, and either internalizing behaviors or externalizing behaviors. Table 3 1 provides a description of the measures used for each of the criteria of traumatic stress. Academic achievement: Refers to the student s performanc e on the direct cognitive assessment of reading, mathematics, and science School disengagement: Refers to the number of times the student was absent during the 20032004 school year. Five categories were used for the number of absences: less than one, in cluding zero; one to less than two; two to less than five; five to less than ten, and ten or more. Low ability tracking: Indicates that the student had an individualized education plan (IEP) on file with the school. Gender: Refers to i dentification as ma le or female. Culture: Refers to identification with one of seven ethnic or cultural groups or categories. The seven categories were: European American, including students who identified as White; Latina/o, including students who identified as Hispanic, with race and

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45 Hispanic, without race; African American, including students who identified as Black; Asian; Native American, including Alaska Natives; Hawaiian Natives, including Pacific Islanders; and multi -cultural, including students who identified as more than one race. Socioeconomic status (SES): Refers to identification in one of five quintiles of socioeconomic status, a composite measure of parents occupation, parents education level, and household income The five categories were: low SES, mid -low SES, mid SES, mid -high SES, and high SES. All of the study variables were measured. This study theorized that the d ependent variable, academic achievement, was impacted by the independent variable, traumatic stress. Gender, culture, and SES serve as control variables that impacted the relationship between tra umatic stress and academic achievement. School disengagement and low ability tracking were considered related to academic achievement, and the impact of traumatic stress, gender, culture, and S ES was also assessed on these dependent variables. Instrumentation During the fifth -grade data collection for the ECLS -K in the spring of 2004, instruments included direct child assessments, interviews with parents, teacher and school questionnaires, stud ent record abstract, and facilities checklist. For the purpose of this study data collected from the child assessments, parent intervi ews, teacher questionnaires, and the student record abstract was used. One child assessment used was the Self -Description Questionnaire (SDQ). This study used the following scales from the SDQ instrument: the SDQ Peer Interest scale, the SDQ Anger/Distractibility scale, and the SDQ Sad/Lonely/Anxious scale, which have reliability coefficients of .82, .78, and .79 respectivel y (Tourangeau, Nord, L, Pollack & Atkins -Burnett, 2006). Each scale was comprised of i tems for which the student rated the accuracy of the statement to be true never sometimes often or very often The SDQ

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46 Sad/Lonely/Anxious scale had 8 items, w hile the SDQ Peer Interest and the SDQ Anger/Distractibility scales each had 6 items. A second child assessment, the direct cognitive assessment battery, was also be used. Three content areas were tested: reading, mathematics, and science. The questions f or the cognitive assessments were developed through consultation with experts in the field of education to determine questions reflect ed content areas that are typically taught and developmentally important provides content validity (Pollack Atkins -Burnet t, Najarian & Rock 2005; Tourangeau et al., 2006). Once questions had passed screening for construct validity evidence and sensitivity, approximately 120 to 150 questions were field tested on about 50 children in spring 1999. In spring 2002, between 120 a nd 136 questions were field tested on 1,800 participants in fourth and fifth grade. Three forms of the cognitive assessment data were generated for each of the three content areas: number right scores or raw score count, Item Response Theory (IRT) scale sc ores, and standardized scores (T -scores). The reliability for the reading, mathematics, and science cognitive assessments were .93, .94, and .87, respectively (Tourangeau et al.). Direct child assessments also provided the information on the students gend er and culture. For the purpose of this study, the Item Response Theory (IRT) scale scores were used as they decrease d the distortion due to guessing or omission by establishing an overall pattern. In order to establish criterion referenced validity evide nce for the reading and mathematics assessments, the Woodcock -McGrew Werder Mini Battery of Achievement (MBA) was included in the fifth grade testing administration. T he correlations between the two measures were close to the square r oots of each tests re liability; therefore the tests appear ed to be measuring similar constructs (Tourangeau et al. 2006).

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47 The parent interview consisted of approximately 330 questions and covered topics such as child health, parent and family characteristics, child care, and school experiences. For the purpose of this study, three items from the Child Health and Wellbeing questionnaire were used These three questions ask ed the parent to rate the following: (a) how well the child behaves and relates to others, (b) how the chi ld pays attention in comparison to other children his or her age, (c) how the childs activity level compares to other children of his or her age. For the first two questions the parent had the following response choices: better than other children his/h er age, as well as other children, slightly less well than other children, or much less well than other children. The parent had the following choices for the third question: less active than other children of his/her age, about as active, sligh tly more active, or a lot more active than other children of his/her age. In order to obtain validation of the parent interviews, 10% of each assessors cases were called for a followup phone interview lasting approximately 5 minutes. Of those re inter viewed, 94% reported the same answers as in the original interview (Tourangeau et al., 2006). Socioeconomic status (SES) was calculated by the NCES through a composite of parent responses to the following questions: f ather/male guardians education; m other /female guardians education; f ather/male guardians occupation; m other/female guardians occupation; and h ousehold income (Tourangeau et al.) Teacher Social Rating Scale from the reading teachers questionnaire were used as well. The Social Rating Scale (SRS) was an adaptation, used with permission, of the Social Skills Rating Scale: Elementary Scale A (How Often?) (SSRS) by Gresham and Elliott. From the SRS, the Self Control scale and the Interpersonal Skills scale were used, which had s plit -half relia bilities of .79 and .88 respectively (Tourangeau et al., 2006). Each of the scales was comprised of items for which the teacher rated the frequency with the child exhibit the social

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48 skill or behavior on the following scale: never, sometimes, often, or very often. The student record abstract form provided information on the number of absences the child had during the 20032004 school year and whether or not the child had an individualized education plan (IEP) on file. Measures of Existing Variables Existing variables were used from the ECLS -K instruments detailed. Variable names for each variable are shown in parentheses. Reading, mathematics, and science cognitive achievement were scaled using Item Response Theory (IRT) on the cognitive assessments for reading (C6R3RSCL), mathematics (C6R3MSCL), and science (C6SR1SSCL), respectively. Low ability tracking was indicated if the student had an individual educati on plan (IEP) on file (U6RIEP). School d isengagement was measured by yearly absences (U6ABSTO T). The three control variables used in this study were: culture (R6RACE), gender (R6GENDER), and SES (W5SESL). Detail on these measures is presented in Table 3 1. Measure of Traumatic Stress The latent independent variable, traumatic stress, was determine d to be present through identification of the following symptoms of traumatic stress: (a) reexper iencing, (b) avoidance, and (c) arousal, as well as either (d) internalizing behaviors or (e) externalizing behaviors. Re experiencing was indicated if the chil d had difficulty with self -control in relationships with peers (T6CONTRO) Avoidance was indicated by any of the following: the child had trouble making friends (C6SDQPRC), the child had trouble relating to other children (P6BEHAVE), or the child had trouble getting along with others and forming and maintaining friendships (T6INTERP). Arousal was indicated if the child was more active than other children (P6ACTIVE) or had trouble paying attention (P6ATTENI) Internalizing behaviors were indicated if the chi ld appeared to be sad, lonely, or anxious (C6SDQINT). Externalizing

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49 behaviors were indicated if the child fought argued or disturbed others (C6SDQEXT) A dichotomous indicator of Traumatic Stress was created from these measures: Tr aumatic Stress = (T6CONTRO < 3) & ((C6SDQPRC < 3) OR (P6BEHAVE > 2) OR (T6INTERP < 3)) & ((P6ACTIVE > 2) OR (P6ATTENI > 2)) & ((C6SDQEXT > 2) OR (C6SDQINT > 2)) Detail on the measures used is presented in Table 3 2. Thus, Traumatic Stress was defined when the child met the high stress condition on four variables: reexperiencing, avoidance, arousal and internalizing or externalizing behaviors. Weights A series of design weights were included to account for the multistage stratified sampling design used in the ECLS -K. Longitud inal NCES studies, including the ECLS -K, require the use of weights to compensate for both unequal probabilities of selection and nonresponse effects. The researcher weighted all of the analyses using the child -parent teacher base weight (C6CPTR0) and replicate weights ( C6CPTR 1 through C6CPTR90), nor malized to preserve the nationally representative sample size for statistical testing. Data Collection The data collection preparation for the fifth grade measurement of the ECLS -K data set began in Fall 2003. Sampled schools were contacted in order to set appointments for child assessments, verify parental consent, identify teachers for each participating child, and updating withdrawal and location records. Training was provided to the assessment administrator s and supervisors in the fall as well. There were 242 assessors and 81 field supervisors that completed a 5 -day training and completed an examination in order to become certified as child assessors and parent interviewers. An additional 20 assessors comple ted 1 days of training and were

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50 trained to complete only the parent interviews. The 81 field supervisors also received an additional 3 -day training. Actual data collection occurred during the Spring of 2004. Direct child assessments, including the SDQ and the cognitive battery assessment, were conducted from February through June 2004, with more than 75% conducted in February. On average the assessment took 97 minutes to complete. The assessments were administered in person using both hard copy and comp uter assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). Most were conducted in the school classroom or library and all were completed in English. One percent of the children received accommodations, such as special assistance. The direct cognitive battery assessment w as administered in two stages for each of the three subjects: reading, mathematics, and science. The first stage was a routing test with 18 to 25 items that was used to determine the appropriate level of difficulty for the second stage of the test. All p arent interviews were conducted between February and June of 2004, with 50% conducted in February and March. Assessors used computer assisted interviewing (CAI). Parent interviews were almost all conducted via telephone, with 2.7% conducted in person. Most of the interviews were conducted in English, with 8.1 % completed in language other than English. Self administered questionnaires were used to collect data from teachers. The teachers were reimbursed $7 for each child they rated in reading and mathematics or science. Data Analysis SPSSv.11.5 was used for data management and AM v.0.06 was used for data analysis. Only students on grade level at fifth grade were retained in the sample. Participants with base weight of zero were removed from the sample. The f inal analytic unweighted sample size was 9,135. To account for missing data, imputation was performed using NORM v.2.03. Analysis began by reporting descriptive statistics for a l l variables.

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51 Analysis of Differences Multinomial logit was performed to analyz e the relationship between socioeconomic status and culture, with culture as the independent variable. Multinomial logit has been used when testing the impact of multiple predictors on a categorical dependent variable (Blizzard & Hosmer, 2007; Park, 2008). European American and low SES were the reference categories for the independent and dependent variables, respectively. To analyze mean differences, t tests are used to determine if two means are significantly different (McMillan & Schumacher, 2006). Follo w up t -tests were performed to examine relationships of significance. Native American, Hawaiian Native, and multi -cultural categories were excluded from this and other follow up analysis due to the small sample size among these groups. To analyze the relationship between academic achievement and gender, t -tests were used for the three achievement tests as well yearly absences and individualized education plan (IEP) on file. Multiple linear regression analysis has been recommended to determine whether multi ple selected independent variables are significant predictors of the dependent variable (McMillan & Schumacher, 2006). Therefore, this procedure was used to determine if culture was a significant predictor of achievement score, with European American as th e reference category. Follow up t tests examined significant relationships. Multinomial logit was used to assess the relationship between absences and culture, with fewer than two absences and European American as the reference categories. Follow up t -test s were used to examine relationships of interest for groups with an appropriate sample size. Logit or logistic regression identifies significant predictors for dichotomous dependent variables (McMillan & Schumacher). Logit and t -test analyses were conducte d to analyze the relationship between culture and individualized education plan (IEP). European American was the reference category for the logit analysis.

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52 Multiple linear regression analysis was used to determine if socioeconomic status (SES) was a signi ficant predictor of achievement score, with low SES as the reference category. Follow up t -tests examined significant relationships. Multinomial logit was used to assess the relationship between absences and SES, with fewer than two absences and low SES as the reference categories. Follow up t -tests were used to examine relationships of interest. Logit analysis was conducted to analyze the relationship between SES and individualized education plan (IEP). Low SES was the reference category for the logit anal ysis. To analyze the relationship between academic achievement and traumatic stress, t tests were used for the three achievement tests as well yearly absences and individualized education plan (IEP) on file. The relationship between traumatic stress and g ender was assessed through t test analysis. Logit and follow up t tests were used to assess the relationships between traumatic stress and culture, with European American as the reference category. Logit analysis was used to assess the relationships betwee n traumatic stress and SES, with low SES as the reference category. Regression Analysis Multiple linear regressions were performed to analyze the relationship between academic achievement and traumatic stress, as controlled by gender, culture, and SES. Th e following equation was used: Y(C6R3RSCL) = B0 + B1*Traumatic Stress + B2*R6RACE + B3* R6GENDER + B4* W5SESL + B5* Traumatic Stress*R6RACE + B6 *Traumatic Stress*R6GENDER + B7 *Traumatic Stress*W5SESL +E Analogous regression equations were conducted for dep endent variables: mathematics cognitive achievement (C6R3MSCL), science cognitive achievement (C6SR1SSCL), and disengagement (U6ABSTOT). An analogous logistic regression was run for dependent variable low ability

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53 tracking (U6RIEP) as it is a dichotomous va riable. The reference categories were: male for gender, European American for all other cultural groups, low SES for all other SES groups, and no traumatic stress.

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54 Table 3 1 Measurements for existing variables Measure ECLS K Variable Reading achievem ent C6R3RSCL Mathematics achievement C6R3MSCL Science achievement C6SR1SSCL IEP on file (Low ability tracking) U6RIEP Absences (School disengagement) U6ABSTOT Gender R6GENDER Culture R6RACE Socioeconomic Status (SES) W5SESL

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55 Table 3 2 Measu rements for traumatic stress Symptom ECLS K Variable (Instrument*) Scale/Question Information Response Scale Traumatic Stress Reexperiencing T6CONTRO (SRS): Self control Four items that indicate the childs ability to control behavior by respecting the p roperty rights of others, controlling temper, accepting peer ideas for group activities, and responding appropriately to pressure from peers. 1 never 2 sometimes 3 often 4 very often Less than 3 Avoidance C6SDQPRC (SDQ): Peer Interest Six items on how easily t he child makes friends and get along with children as well as their perception of their popularity. 1 never 2 sometimes 3 often 4 very often Less than 3 P6BEHAVE (PI) CHQ.325 Would you say {CHILD} behaves and relates to other children and adults ...[compared to others] 1 better than 2 as wells as 3 slightly less well 4 much less well Greater than 2 T6INTERP (SRS): Interpersonal Skills Five items that rate the childs skill in forming and maintaining friendships; getting along with people who are different; comfo rting or helping other children; expressing feelings ideas and opinions in positive ways; and showing sensitivity to the feelings of others. 1 never 2 sometimes 3 often 4 very often Less than 3 Arousal P6ACTIVE (PI) CHQ.080 Thinking about {CHILD}'s overall act ivity level would you say {he/she} is [compared to others] 1 less active 2 about as active 3 slightly more 4 a lot more Greater than 2

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56 Table 3 2 Continued. *Note: SDQ: Direct Child Assessment Self Description Questionnaire SRS: Reading Teacher Social Rating Scale PI: Parent Interview on Chi ld Health and Well Being P6ATTENI (PI) CHQ.020 Does {CHILD} pay attention ....[compared to others] 1 better than 2 as wells as 3 slightly less well 4 much less well Greater than 2 Internalizing C6SDQINT (SDQ): Sad/Lonely/ Anxious Eight items on childs internalizing problem behaviors such as feeling sad a lot of the time feeling lonely feeling ashamed of mistakes feeling frustra ted and worrying about school and friendships. 1 never 2 sometimes 3 often or 4 very often Greater than 2 Externalizing C6SDQEXT (SDQ): Anger/ Distractibility Six items on childs externalizing problem behaviors such as fighting and arguing with other kids talking and disturbing others and problems with distractibility. 1 never 2 sometimes 3 often or 4 very often Greater than 2

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57 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This study examined the impact of traumatic stress on the academic achievement for primary school students, as well as the influence of gender, culture, and socioeconomic status (SES). The purpose of this chapter is to present the findings of the study in relation to the research questions. Participant Descriptive Information Of the 3,387,565 fifth grade students in the weighted sample, 50.4% were male and 49.6% were female. The following cultural groups were repr esented in the sample: European American (58.9%), Latina/o (19.3%), African American (14.4%), Asian (2.9%), Native American, (1.5%), Hawaiian Native (0.7%), multi -cultural (2.4%). The socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds of students in the sample were as follows: 16.9% were from low SES families, 19.2% were from mid low SES families, 21.4% were from mid SES families, 21.2% were from mid-high SES families, and 21.3% were from high SES families. Analyses were conducted to assess the intersection between SE S and culture, as shown in Table 4 1. While 29.0% of European Americans were in the high SES category, only 7.9% of Latina/o students and 8.1% of African American students were in this category (see Figure 4 1). In examining the percentages of students in the low SES category, almost the opposite distribution was found: 7.9% of European American students, 34.5% Latina/o students, and 27.8% African American students from low SES families. Results of the multinomial logit found significant differences for bo th Latina/o and African American students in all SES categories when compared to low SES European American students (see Table 4 2). Follow up t tests of differences between European American, Latina/o, and African American students showed significant diff erences between the percentages of students in each SES group (see Table 4 3).

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58 Further, the percentage of Asian students in both low and high SES groups was significantly different than the percentage of Latina/o and African American students in each group As such, these results indicate that African American and Latina/o students are disproportionately of lower socioeconomic status. In examining the academic achievement measures for the students, the mean reading achievement score for all students was 14 0.9, with a range from 59.1 to 181.2. The mean mathematics achievement score was 114.9, with a minimum of 47.0 and a maximum of 50.9. Students scores on the science achievement test averaged 58.2, with a range from 17.5 to 87.6. In assessing school diseng agement, the analysis showed that the largest percentage of students had fewer than two yearly absences, at 28.9% (see Figure 4 2). Approximately half as many students (19.8%) were in the highest category of absences, with 10 or more absences. Of the total sample, 11.8% had an individualized education plan (IEP) on file with the school, indicating low ability tracking (see Figure 4 3). Academic Achievement and Gender The first research question was as follows: What is the relationship between academic achi evement and gender for primary school students? This question was examined using t -t tests, which found that scores for male students were significantly different than those of female students on reading, mathematics, and science (see Table 4 4). The avera ge reading score was higher for females, while males scored higher on average in mathematics and science. The percentages of students in each of the four categories of yearly absences were then compared by gender using t tests. These analyses found that on ly the difference between males and females who were absent less than two times per year was significant (see Table 4 5). Finally, there was a significant difference between the percentage of male students with an IEP on file (15.6%) and the percentage of female students (7.9%) (t=5.016, p<0.001) (see Figure 4 4). Therefore, results

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59 from the analysis of academic achievement and gender are mixed. While males perform better than females on two of three achievement tests, males are twice as likely to be placed in special education programs. Academic Achievement and Culture The second research question asked: What is the relationship between academic achievement and culture for primary school students? In examining the sample, achievement scores for European American students were highest in reading and science, while Asian students had the highest average in mathematics (see Table 4 6). Latina/o and African American students had average scores among the bottom three of all three subjects. Linear regression a nalysis examined the influence of culture on achievement scores. In comparison to the reference category of European American cultural identity, results showed that identification as Latina/o, African American, Native American, and Native Hawaiian were all significant negative predictors of reading, mathematics, and science achievement (see Table 4 7). Asian cultural identity was a significant positive predictor of mathematics achievement. Follow up t tests examined differences among European American, Lati na/o, and African American, and Asian students. In mathematics and science, all groups were significantly different (see Table 4 8). On reading achievement, only European American compared to Asian students and Latina/o compared to African American student s were not significant. These results indicated that the cultural identity of Latina/o and African American students is negative predictor of their academic achievement. Native American and Native Hawaiian culture identity also serves as a negative predict or, although results are tentative due to the small sample size. Analysis of academic achievement related measures by culture examined the percentages of yearly absences by cultural group. Asian students had the lowest percentage of students with 10 or mo re absences (6.9%), while Native American students had the highest percentage within

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60 this category (40.9%) (see Table 4 9). Among all cultural groups, Asian students had by far the largest percentage with fewer than two absences (53.3%) (see Figure 4 5). R esults of the multinomial logit found significant differences for Asian and Native American students for two to less than five and ten or more absences as compared to European American students with less than two absences (see Table 4 10). Latina/o, and Af rican American, and Asian students with five to less than ten absences were also significantly different. Using t tests to examine the differences at the highest category of absences, only the differences between Asian students and each of the other cultur al groups were significant (see Table 4 11). Results show high engagement among Asian students. Engagement appears to be significantly low among Native American students, although inferences are limited by the sample size. Among all the cultural groups in the sample, Native American students were the most likely to have an individualized education plan (IEP) on file (22.0%) (see Table 4 12). Asian students were the most likely to have an IEP (4.2%) (see Figure 4 6). Among European American, Latina/o, and A frican American students the range was between 10.4% and 12.4% for students having an IEP on file. Logit analysis and follow up t -tests confirmed the significant difference between Asian students and the following groups: European American, Latina/o, and A frican American (see Table 4 13 and Table 4 14). The odds ratio of 1.98 indicated Native American students are almost twice as likely to have an IEP on file as European American students. Differences between European American, Latina/o, and African America n cultural groups were not significant. The measures of academic achievement show that European American and Asian students tend to perform significantly better as compared to their counterparts from other cultural backgrounds. Of particular significance is that European American and Asian students had

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61 significantly higher achievement scores that their Latina/o and African American counterparts on all three academic subjects. In achievement related measures, the evidence for disengagement as measured by ab sences indicated that Asian students were more engaged than students from other cultural backgrounds. Native Americans appeared significantly disengaged, although due to the small sample size results are tentative. Also with respect to IEP, Asian students are much less likely than other students to be tracked for low ability placement. Native Americans are more likely to have an IEP, while European American, Latina/o, and African American were not significantly different. Academic Achievement and Socioecono mic Status The third research question was as follows: What is the relationship between academic achievement and socioeconomic status (SES) for primary school students? Among students in the sample, mean achievement scores increased in each subject as SES increased (see Table 4 15). Regression analysis (see Table 4 16) and follow up t -tests (see Table 4 -17) found that all differences were significant, showing a consistent increase as students SES increased. Similarly, with student absences, as SES increas ed, the percentage of students with ten or more absences decreased (see Figure 4 7). Multinomial logit analysis showed that the percentages of students in the higher three categories of SES who had ten or more absences were significantly different than tho se in the lowest SES category with less than two absences (see Table 4 18). Follow up t tests examined the difference between the percentage of absences in each of the four categories for students with low SES as compared to students with high SES, finding that all except those for the five to less than ten absences category were significantly different (see Table 4 19). Additionally, for the highest absence category, significant differences were found between low SES students and all other categories.

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62 The percentage of students with an individualized education plan (IEP) on file tended to decrease as SES increased. While 18.4% of low SES students had an IEP on file, only 9.1% of high SES students were tracked for low ability placement (see Figure 4 8). Log it analysis showed that, as compared to low SES students, mid, mid -high, and high SES students were significantly more likely to have an IEP on file (see Table 4 20). The odds ratio of .45 indicated that high SES students were 50% less likely to have an I EP on file than low SES students. Analysis of both the direct and related academic achievement measures shows that socioeconomic status (SES) is a significant factor in the educational success of primary school students. Students of higher SES tend to score higher on achievement test, have fewer absences, and are less likely to be placed in special education. The results indicate that SES has a strong, positive relationship with academic achievement. Academic Achievement and Traumatic Stress The fourth re search question asked: What is the relationship between academic achievement and traumatic stress for primary school students? Among all students in the sample, 10.3% met the criteria for traumatic stress (see Figure 4 9). Students with traumatic stress ha d average academic achievement scores that were significantly lower than those without traumatic stress (see Figure 4 10). Differences were found to be significant for all three academic subjects based on t tests (see Table 4 21). Number of absences showed little difference for students with traumatic stress as compared to those without; t tests confirmed none of the differences were significant (see Table 4 22). In terms of low ability tracking, students with traumatic stress were more than twice as likely to have an IEP on file (see Figure 411). The difference was found to be significant by t test (t=5.125, p<0.001). Evidence that traumatic stress has a significant negative impact on academic achievement is strong based on the academic achievement scores

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63 and special education placement. Interestingly, students with traumatic stress were not found to be less engaged in school, as indicated by absences. Academic Achievement and Gender, Culture, SES, and Traumatic Stress The fifth research question asked: Wh at is the relationship between traumatic stress and academic achievement for primary school students when controlled by culture, gender, and SES? To examine this question, first the relationships between traumatic and the control variables, gender, culture and SES, were assessed. Male students were almost three times as likely to have traumatic stress as females (t=6.588, p<0.001) (see Figure 412). Asian students had the lowest percentage of traumatic stress, with only 2.6% of students meeting the criteri a (see Figure 4 13). While African Americans had the largest percent (13.4%), the only significant differences found by the logit analysis and follow up t -tests were between Asian students and European American, Latina/o, and African American students (see Table 4 23 and Table 4 24). As SES increased, the percentage of students with traumatic stress generally decreased. While only 6.9% of high SES students met the criteria, 16.1% of low SES students were found to have traumatic stress (see Figure 4 14). The percentage of students with traumatic stress in the low SES group was significantly different from the percentage of students meeting the criteria in all other SES categories according to the logit analysis (Table 4 25). High SES students were almost 50% less likely to have traumatic stress than low SES students, based on the odds ratio of 0.39. These analyses showed that male students and lower SES students were more likely to have traumatic stress when compared to female students and middle and upper SES students, respectively. As compared to other cultural groups, Asian students were less likely to have traumatic stress. Following these analyses, linear regressions were used to address the research question, with gender, culture, SES, and traumatic stre ss as independent variables. The reference categories were: male, European American, low SES, and no traumatic stress, respectively.

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64 Regression analysis with reading achievement as the dependent variable found that female gender and all four higher SES cat egories were significant positive predictors of higher academic achievement scores (see Table 4 26). Significant negative predictors were having traumatic stress and belonging to any of the following cultural groups: Latina/o, African American, Native Amer ican, and Native Hawaiian. Results of the regression with mathematics as the dependent variable mirrored the results for reading achievement, with two differences: female gender was a negative predictor and Asian cultural identity was a positive predictor (see Table 4 27). For science achievement, the differences in the results were that female gender was a negative predictor, as was found with mathematics, and that Asian cultural identity was a negative predictor (see Table 4 28). Across all academic subjects, higher SES was a positive predictor of achievement, while Latina/o, African American, Native American, or Native Hawaiian cultural identity was a negative predictor. Female gender was a positive predictor of reading achievement only. Asian cultural id entity was positive for mathematics achievement, but negative for science achievement. In terms of school disengagement, the following were significant negative predictors of higher absences, indicating that these factors would imply positive school engag ement: Latina/o, African American, Asian, and Native American cultural identity, as well as any of the upper four SES categories (see Table 4 29). Gender and traumatic stress were not significant predictors of absences in the linear regression. Logit analy sis was used to assess the dichotomous dependent variable, IEP on file. The following were significant negative predictors, meaning that they implied the absence of low ability and therefore predict a positive achievement related factor: female gender; Lat ina/o, African American, Asian, Native American, and multi cultural cultural identity; and the upper four SES categories (see Table 4 30). Traumatic stress was the only

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65 positive predictor of having an IEP on file. The odd ratio was 2.58, indicating that th e odds of having an IEP are almost three times as large when the student has traumatic stress. In summary, regression analysis found that traumatic stress as well as the controlling factors, gender, culture, and SES, were significant predictors of academi c achievement. Socioeconomic status is a clear predictor of higher achievement across all measures used. Cultural identity of Latina/o, African American, and Native American were negative predictors of academic subject achievement scores, but also a negati ve predictor of having an IEP on file and a negative predictor of absences. Some differences in predictions were found with gender, as female gender positively predicted reading achievement and negatively predicted having an IEP on file. However, female gender negatively predicted mathematics and science achievement. Asian cultural identity positively predicted mathematics achievement, but negatively predicted science achievement. Finally, traumatic stress was a significant negative predictor of achievemen t scores, as well as a significant positive predictor and having an IEP. However, traumatic stress did not predict absences.

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66 Table 4 1 Distribution of students in socioeconomic status (SES) categories by culture Culture Low SES Mid Low SES Mid SES Mid High SES High SES All Students 16.9% 19.2% 21.4% 21.2% 21.3% European American 7.9% 15.8% 22.2% 25.1% 29.0% Latina/o 35.4% 24.6% 19.9% 12.2% 7.9% African American 27.8% 25.6% 19.3% 19.2% 8.1% Asian 15.6% 19.1% 16.2% 17.1% 32.0% Native American 34.5% 18.7% 28.1% 12.5% 6.3% Native Hawaiian 15.7% 30.7% 34.9% 13.0% 5.7% Multi -cultural 13.6% 18.0% 23.8% 23.6% 21.1% 7.9% 15.8% 22.2% 25.1% 29.0% 35.4% 24.6% 19.9% 12.2% 7.9% 27.8% 25.6% 19.3% 19.2% 8.1% 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% 35.0% 40.0% Low SES Mid Low SES Mid SES Mid High SES High SES European American Latina/o African American Figure 4 1. Distribution of European American, Latina/o, and African American students in socioeconomic status (SES) categories by culture

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67 Table 4 2 Results of multinomial logit analyzing the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and culture Parameter Name Estimate Standard Error t -statistic p > |t| Mid -Low SES Latina/o 1.066 0.160 6.671 0.000 *** African American 0.786 0.211 3.721 0.000 *** Asian 0.494 0.271 1.824 0.071 Native American 1.311 0.329 3.988 0.000 *** Native Hawaiian 0.030 0.402 0.074 0.941 Multi cultural 0.417 0.399 1.043 0.300 Mid SES Latina/o 1.612 0.185 8.702 0.000 *** Af rican American 1.402 0.249 5.627 0.000 *** Asian 0.998 0.352 2.840 0.006 ** Native American 1.242 0.785 1.581 0.117 Native Hawaiian 0.237 0.521 0.455 0.650 Multi cultural 0.475 0.459 1.033 0.304 Mid High SES Latina/o 2.225 0.175 1 2.712 0.000 *** African American 1.531 0.218 7.015 0.000 *** Asian 1.068 0.264 4.052 0.000 *** Native American 2.175 0.437 4.979 0.000 *** Native Hawaiian 1.346 0.690 1.952 0.054 Multi cultural 0.607 0.417 1.454 0.149 High SES Latin a/o 2.811 0.188 14.940 0.000 *** African American 2.539 0.259 9.815 0.000 *** Asian 0.584 0.290 2.017 0.047 Native American 3.005 0.559 5.372 0.000 *** Native Hawaiian 2.326 0.843 2.761 0.007 ** Multi cultural 0.865 0.398 2.171 0.033 Note: Culture reference category was European American; SES reference category was Low SES Note: *** Significant at level

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68 Table 4 3. Results of follow up t -tests analyzing the rela tionship between socioeconomic status (SES) and culture Culture Percentage Culture Percentage T statistic p > t Low SES European American 7.9% Latina/o 35.4% 12.626 0.000 *** European American 7.9% African American 27.8% 6.132 0.000 *** Europ ean American 7.9% Asian 15.6% 2.404 0.018 Latina/o 35.4% African American 27.8% 2.256 0.027 Latina/o 35.4% Asian 15.6% 5.025 0.000 *** African American 27.8% Asian 15.6% 2.601 0.011 Mid Low SES European American 15.8% Latina/o 24.6% 4.53 8 0.000 *** European American 15.8% African American 25.6% 3.723 0.000 *** European American 15.8% Asian 19.1% 1.195 0.235 Latina/o 24.6% African American 25.6% 0.315 0.754 Latina/o 24.6% Asian 19.1% 1.854 0.067 African American 25.6% Asian 19.1% 1.858 0.066 Mid High SES European American 25.1% Latina/o 12.2% 8.858 0.000 *** European American 25.1% African American 19.2% 2.102 0.038 European American 25.1% Asian 17.1% 3.318 0.001 ** Latina/o 12.2% African American 19.2% 2.499 0.014 Latina/o 12.2% Asian 17.1% 1.942 0.055 African American 19.2% Asian 17.1% 0.669 0.505 High SES European American 29.0% Latina/o 7.9% 14.420 0.000 *** European American 29.0% African American 8.1% 10.558 0.000 *** European American 29.0% A sian 32.0% 0.900 0.371 Latina/o 7.9% African American 8.1% 0.140 0.889 Latina/o 7.9% Asian 32.0% 7.558 0.000 *** African American 8.1% Asian 32.0% 6.676 0.000 *** Note: *** Significant at level

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69 28.9% 26.4% 24.9% 19.8% 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% 35.0% Less than 2 2 to Less than 5 5 to less than 10 10 or more Figure 4 2. Distribution of yearly absences for sample 88.2% 11.8% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% 100.0% No IEP IEP Figure 4 3. Distribution of individualized education plan (IEP) on file for sample Table 4 4. Re sults of t -tests analyzing the relationship between average academic achievement scores by gender Subject Male Female T statistic p > t Reading 139.3 142.5 3.642 0.000 *** Math ematics 116.7 113.1 4.248 0.000 *** Science 59.9 56.5 5.688 0.000 *** Note: Significa *** Significant at level

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70 Table 4 5 Results of t tests analyzing the relationship between yearly absences and socioeconomic status (SES) Yearly Absences Male Female Difference T statistic p > t Less than 2 27.2% 30.7% 0.034 2.097 0.039 2 to Less than 5 28.3% 24.4% 0.038 1.934 0.056 5 to less than 10 24.1% 25.8% 0.017 0.97 0.335 10 or more 20.4% 19.1% 0.013 0.819 0.415 level 84.4% 92.1% 15.6% 7.9% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Male Female No IEP IEP Figure 4 4. Distribution of students with an individualized educational plan (IEP) on file by gender

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71 Table 4 6 Mean academic achievement scores by culture Table 4 7. Results of linear r egression analyzi n g the relationship between academic achievement by culture Parameter Name Estimate Standard Error t Statistic p > |t| Reading R Square = 0.099 Latina/o 13.443 1.009 13.317 0.000 *** African American 15.202 1.548 9.821 0.000 *** Asian 1.106 1.370 0.807 0.422 Native American 20.958 7.469 2.806 0.006 ** Native Hawaiian 12.350 3.913 3.157 0.002 ** Multi cultural 1.454 2.152 0.676 0.501 Mathematics R Square = 0.104 Latina/o 10.479 1.057 9.918 0.000 *** African American 16.0 35 1.421 11.287 0.000 *** Asian 3.331 1.612 2.067 0.042 Native American 19.771 3.872 5.106 0.000 *** Native Hawaiian 11.163 2.652 4.209 0.000 *** Multi -cultural 1.059 2.206 0.480 0.632 Science R Square = 0.174 Latina/o 10.419 0.639 1 6.295 0.000 *** African American 13.926 0.963 14.463 0.000 *** Asian 3.176 1.070 2.968 0.004 ** Native American 15.221 2.751 5.533 0.000 *** Native Hawaiian 12.644 2.289 5.524 0.000 *** Multi cultural 1.332 1.346 0.990 0.325 Note: Culture reference category was European American Note: Signi *** Significant at level Culture Reading Mathematics Science European America n 146.2 119.6 62.7 Latina/o 132.7 109.1 52.3 African American 131.0 103.5 48.7 Asian 145.1 122.9 59.5 Native American 125.2 99.8 47.5 Native Hawaiian 133.8 108.4 50.0 Multi cultural 144.7 118.5 61.3

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72 Table 4 8. Results of follow up t -tests analyzing the relationship between academic achievement and culture Culture Mean Culture Mean T statistic p > t Reading European American 146.2 Latina/o 132.7 13.317 0.000 *** European American 146.2 African American 131.0 9.821 0.000 *** European American 146.2 Asian 145.1 0.807 0.422 Latina/o 132.7 African American 131.0 1.037 0.302 Latina/o 132.7 Asian 145.1 8.017 0.000 *** African American 131.0 Asian 145.1 7.36 0.000 *** Mathematics European American 119.6 Latina/o 109.1 9.918 0.000 *** European American 119.6 African American 103.5 11.287 0.000 *** European American 119.6 Asian 122.9 2.067 0.0 42 Latina/o 109.1 African American 103.5 3.328 0.001 ** Latina/o 109.1 Asian 122.9 7.857 0.000 *** African American 103.5 Asian 122.9 10.386 0.000 *** Science European American 62.7 Latina/o 52.3 16.295 0.000 *** European American 62.7 Afri can American 48.7 14.463 0.000 *** European American 62.7 Asian 59.5 2.968 0.004 ** Latina/o 52.3 African American 48.7 3.353 0.001 ** Latina/o 52.3 Asian 59.5 6.329 0.000 *** African American 48.7 Asian 59.5 8.152 0.000 *** Note: Significant at *** Significant at Table 4 9 Distribution of yearly absences by culture Absences European American Latina/o African American Asian Native American Native Hawaiian Multi cultural Less than 2 25.7% 32.2% 33.7% 53.5% 23.8% 22.8% 28.9% 2 to Less than 5 26.4% 27.2% 27.9% 22.9% 10.5% 26.3% 24.8% 5 to less than 10 28.4% 21.2% 18.3% 16.7% 24.8% 25.5% 20.5% 10 or more 19.5% 19.5% 20.1% 6.9% 40.9% 25.5% 25.8%

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73 25.7% 32.2% 33.7% 53.5% 26.4% 27.2% 27.9% 22.9% 28.4% 21.2% 18.3% 16.7% 19.5% 19.5% 20.1% 6.9% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% European American Latina/o African American Asian Less than 2 2 to Less than 5 5 to less than 10 10 or more Figure 4 5. Distribution of yearly absenc es by culture for European American, Latina/o, African American, and Asian students

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74 Table 4 10. Results of multinomial logit analyzing the relationship between yearly absences and culture Parameter Name Estimate Standard Error t statistic p > |t| 2 to Less than 5 Latina/o 0.194 0.129 1.504 0.136 African American 0.215 0.179 1.198 0.234 Asian 0.874 0.180 4.856 0.000 *** Native American 0.843 0.315 2.679 0.009 ** Native Hawaiian 0.119 0.483 0.246 0.806 Multi cultural 0.177 0.316 0.563 0.575 5 to less than 10 Latina/o 0.518 0.134 3.876 0.000 *** African American 0.713 0.198 3.606 0.001 ** Asian 1.262 0.197 6.414 0.000 *** Native American 0.060 0.802 0.075 0.941 Native Hawaiian 0.013 0.490 0.027 0.978 Multi cu ltural 0.446 0.306 1.456 0.149 10 or more Latina/o 0.225 0.119 1.887 0.062 African American 0.242 0.155 1.565 0.121 Asian 1.774 0.324 5.473 0.000 *** Native American 0.816 0.220 3.716 0.000 *** Native Hawaiian 0.388 0.380 1.020 0.311 Multi -cultural 0.160 0.308 0.521 0.604 Note: Culture reference category was European American; Absences reference category was Less than 2 Note: *** Significant at level

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75 Table 4 11. Results of follow up t tests analyzing the relationship between yearly absences and culture Parameter1 Mean 1 Parameter 2 Mean 2 T statistic p > t Less than 2 European American 0.257 Latina/o 0.322 3.269 0.002 ** European American 0.257 African American 0.337 2.676 0.009 ** European American 0.257 Asian 0.535 7.587 0.000 *** Latina/o 0.322 African American 0.337 0.463 0.645 Lat ina/o 0.322 Asian 0.535 5.969 0.000 *** African American 0.337 Asian 0.535 4.169 0.000 *** 2 to Less than 5 European American 0.264 Latina/o 0.272 0.351 0.726 European American 0.264 African American 0.279 0.515 0.608 European American 0.2 64 Asian 0.229 1.184 0.240 Latina/o 0.272 African American 0.279 0.217 0.829 Latina/o 0.272 Asian 0.229 1.350 0.180 African American 0.279 Asian 0.229 1.196 0.235 5 to less than 10 European American 0.284 Latina/o 0.212 3.310 0.001 ** Euro pean American 0.284 African American 0.183 3.551 0.001 ** European American 0.284 Asian 0.167 4.294 0.000 *** Latina/o 0.212 African American 0.183 1.069 0.288 Latina/o 0.212 Asian 0.167 1.551 0.124 African American 0.183 Asian 0.167 0.458 0.648 10 or more European American 0.195 Latina/o 0.195 0.007 0.994 European American 0.195 African American 0.201 0.253 0.801 European American 0.195 Asian 0.069 5.544 0.000 *** Latina/o 0.195 African American 0.201 0.256 0.799 Latina/o 0.195 Asia n 0.069 5.559 0.000 *** African American 0.201 Asian 0.069 4.643 0.000 *** Note: *** Significant at level Table 4 12. Distribution of individualized education plan (IEP) on file by culture Culture No IEP IEP European American 87.6% 12.4% Latina/o 88.2% 11.8% African American 89.6% 10.4% Asian 95.8% 4.2% Native American 78.0% 22.0% Native Hawaiian 89.9% 10.1% Multi cultural 94.7% 5.3%

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76 87.6% 88.2% 89.6% 95.8% 12.4% 11.8% 10.4% 4.2% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% European American Latina/o African American Asian IEP No IEP Figure 4 6. Distribution of individualized educational plan (IEP) on file by culture for European American, Latina/o, A frican American, and Asian students Table 4 13. Results of logit analyzing the relationship between individualized educational plan (IEP) on file and culture Parameter Name Estimate Odds Ratio Standard Error t Statistic p > |t| Latina/o 0.057 0.945 0.140 0.405 0.686 African American 0.199 0.820 0.209 0.954 0.343 Asian 1.188 0.305 0.263 4.525 0.000 *** Native American 0.682 1.978 0.222 3.075 0.003 ** Native Hawaiian 0.237 0.789 0.501 0.472 0.638 Multi cultural 0.924 0.397 0.318 2.906 0.005 ** Note: Culture reference category was European American; IEP reference category was No IEP Note: *** Significant at level

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77 Table 4 14. Results of follow up t tests analyzing the relationship between individualized educational plan (IEP) on file and culture Culture Percentage Cultu re Percentage T statistic p > t Latina/o 11.8% African American 10.4% 0.620 0.537 Latina/o 11.8% Asian 4.2% 4.714 0.000 *** African American 10.4% Asian 4.2% 3.087 0.003 ** Note: *** Sig nificant at level Table 4 15. Distribution of mean academic achievement by socioeconomic status (SES) SES Category Reading Mathematics Science High SES 154.0 126.7 66.3 Mid High SES 146.1 118.9 61.6 Mid SES 141.3 115.2 58.9 Mid Low SES 135.2 109.0 54.3 Low SES 123.8 101.4 47.3 Table 4 16. Results of linear regression analyzing the relationship between academic achievement and socioeconomic status (SES) Parameter Name Estimate Standard Error t Statistic p > |t| Reading R-Square = 0. 201 Mid Low SES 11.361 1.639 6.932 0.000 *** Mid SES 17.493 1.530 11.434 0.000 *** Mid High SES 22.274 1.385 16.079 0.000 *** High SES 30.166 1.557 19.380 0.000 *** Mathematics R Square = 0.168 Mid Low SES 7.602 1.167 6.515 0.000 *** Mid SES 1 3.765 1.336 10.301 0.000 *** Mid High SES 17.498 1.463 11.963 0.000 *** High SES 25.289 1.364 18.536 0.000 *** Science R-Square = 0.203 Mid Low SES 7.033 0.879 8.002 0.000 *** Mid SES 11.584 0.958 12.090 0.000 *** Mid High SES 14.284 0.952 15.01 2 0.000 *** High SES 19.015 1.040 18.288 0.000 *** Note: SES reference category was Low SES Note: *** Significant at level

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78 Table 4 17. Results of follow up t tests analyzing the relationship between academic achievement and socioeconomic status (SES) SES Mean IRT SES Mean IRT T st atistic p > t Reading IRT Low SES 123.8 Mid Low SES 135.2 6.932 0.000 *** Low SES 123.8 Mid SES 141.3 11.434 0.000 *** Low SES 123.8 Mid High SES 146.1 16.079 0.000 *** Low SES 123.8 High SES 154.0 19.380 0.000 *** Mid Low SES 135.2 Mid S ES 141.3 4.284 0.000 *** Mid Low SES 135.2 Mid High SES 146.1 7.920 0.000 *** Mid Low SES 135.2 High SES 154.0 14.129 0.000 *** Mid SES 141.3 Mid High SES 146.1 3.955 0.000 *** Mid SES 141.3 High SES 154.0 10.966 0.000 *** Mid High SES 146.1 High SES 154.0 6.719 0.000 *** Mathematics IRT Low SES 101.4 Mid Low SES 109.0 6.515 0.000 *** Low SES 101.4 Mid SES 115.2 10.301 0.000 *** Low SES 101.4 Mid High SES 118.9 11.963 0.000 *** Low SES 101.4 High SES 126.7 18.536 0.000 *** Mid Low SES 109.0 Mid SES 115.2 5.176 0.000 *** Mid Low SES 109.0 Mid High SES 118.9 7.752 0.000 *** Mid Low SES 109.0 High SES 126.7 16.259 0.000 *** Mid SES 115.2 Mid High SES 118.9 3.258 0.002 ** Mid SES 115.2 High SES 126.7 11.550 0.000 *** Mid High SES 118.9 High SES 126.7 6.568 0.000 *** Science IRT Low SES 47.3 Mid Low SES 54.3 8.002 0.000 *** Low SES 47.3 Mid SES 58.9 12.090 0.000 *** Low SES 47.3 Mid High SES 61.6 15.012 0.000 *** Low SES 47.3 High SES 66.3 18.288 0.000 *** Mid Low SES 54.3 Mid SES 58.9 5.380 0.000 *** Mid Low SES 54.3 Mid High SES 61.6 8.543 0.000 *** Mid Low SES 54.3 High SES 66.3 14.306 0.000 *** Mid SES 58.9 Mid High SES 61.6 4.114 0.000 *** Mid SES 58.9 High SES 66.3 9.259 0.000 *** Mid High SES 61 .6 High SES 66.3 5.994 0.000 *** Note: *** Significant at level

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79 26.0% 27.9% 28.2% 26.9% 34.9% 22.2% 27.0% 24.0% 29.7% 28.2% 23.2% 22.6% 28.3% 26.7% 23.4% 28.6% 22.6% 19.5% 16.7% 13.5% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Low SES Mid Low SES Mid SES Mid High SES High SES Less than 2 2 to Less than 5 5 to less than 10 10 or more Figure 4 7. Distribution of yearly absences by socioeconomic status (SES) Table 4 18. Results of multinomial logit analyzing the relationship between yearly absences and socioeconomic status (SES) Parameter Name Estimate Standard Error t statistic p > |t| 2 to Less than 5 Mid Low SES 0.128 0.165 0.776 0.440 Mid SES 0.004 0.181 0.021 0.983 Mid High SES 0 .259 0.156 1.656 0.101 High SES 0.056 0.159 0.356 0.723 5 to less than 10 Mid Low SES 0.096 0.179 0.539 0.591 Mid SES 0.115 0.172 0.669 0.505 Mid High SES 0.106 0.180 0.587 0.559 High SES 0.287 0.166 1.724 0.088 10 or more Mid Low SES 0.304 0.149 2.044 0.044 Mid SES 0.461 0.162 2.841 0.006 ** Mid High SES 0.573 0.181 3.176 0.002 ** High SES 1.040 0.159 6.555 0.000 *** Note: SES reference category was Low SES; Absences reference category was Less than 2 Note: Si *** Significant at level

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80 Table 4 19. Results of follow up t tests analyzing the relationship between yearly absences and socioeconomic status (SES) Parameter1 Mean 1 Parameter 2 Mean 2 T statistic p > t Less than 2 Low SES 26.0% High SES 34.9% 3.555 0.001 ** 2 to Less than 5 Low SES 22.2% High SES 28.2% 2.358 0.021 5 to less than 10 Low SES 23.2% High SES 23.4% 0.059 0.953 10 or more Low SES 28.6% Mid Low SES 22.6% 2.058 0.042 Low SES 28.6% Mid SES 19.5% 3.161 0.002 ** Low SES 28.6% Mid High SES 16.7% 3.883 0.000 *** Low SES 28.6% High SES 13.5% 5.760 0.000 *** Mid Low SES 22.6% Mid SES 19.5% 1.404 0.164 Mid Low SES 22.6% Mid High SES 16.7% 2.5 67 0.012 Mid Low SES 22.6% High SES 13.5% 4.108 0.000 *** Mid SES 19.5% Mid High SES 16.7% 1.044 0.299 Mid SES 19.5% High SES 13.5% 2.755 0.007 ** Mid High SES 16.7% High SES 13.5% 1.305 0.195 Note: ** Significant *** Significant at level 81.6% 87.2% 88.8% 91.3% 90.9% 18.4% 12.8% 11.2% 8.7% 9.1% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Low SES Mid Low SES Mid SES Mid High SES High SES No IEP IEP Figure 4 8. Distribution of individualized educational plan (IEP) on file by socioeconomic status (SES)

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81 Table 4 20. Results of logit analyzing the relationship between individualized educational plan (IEP) on file and socioeconomic status (SES) Parameter Name Estimate Odds Ratio Standard Error t Statistic p > |t| Mid Low SES 0.432 0.649 0.231 1.872 0.064 Mid SES 0.576 0.562 0.241 2.394 0.019 Mid High SES 0.859 0.424 0.203 4.233 0.000 *** High SES 0.807 0.446 0.214 3.774 0.000 *** Note: SES reference category was Low SES; IEP reference category was No IEP Note: Signifi *** Significant at level 89.7% 10.3% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% 100.0% No Traumatic Stress Traumatic Stress Figure 4 9. Distribution of students with traumatic stress for sample

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82 142.4 116.3 59.0 127.6 103.0 51.5 0.0 20.0 40.0 60.0 80.0 100.0 120.0 140.0 160.0 Reading Mathematics Science No Traumatic Stress Traumatic Stress Figure 4 10. Distribution of average achievement scores by traumatic stress Table 4 21. Res ults of t tests analyzing the relationship between average achievement scores and traumatic stress Subject No Traumatic Stress Traumatic Stress T statistic p > t Reading 142.4 127.6 8.982 0.000 *** Mathematics 116.3 103.0 8.408 0.000 *** Science 59.0 51.5 6.757 0.000 *** Note: *** Significant at level Table 4 22. Results of t tests analyzing the relationship between yearly absences and traumatic stress Absences No Traumatic Stress Traumatic Stress T stat istic p > t Less than 2 29.6% 23.4% 1.973 0.052 2 to Less than 5 26.1% 28.9% 1.032 0.305 5 to less than 10 25.1% 23.8% 0.452 0.653 10 or more 19.3% 23.9% 1.558 0.123

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83 90.0% 73.4% 10.0% 26.6% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% No Traumatic Stress Traumatic Stress No IEP IEP Figure 4 11. Distribution of individualized education plan (IEP) on file by tr aumatic stress 85.3% 94.1% 14.7% 5.9% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Male Female No Traumatic Stress Traumatic Stress Figure 4 12. Distribution of traumatic stress by gender

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84 89.9% 90.1% 86.6% 97.4% 10.1% 9.9% 13.4% 2.6% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% European American Latina/o African American Asian No Traumatic Stress Traumatic Stress Figure 4 13. Distribution of traumatic stress by culture for European American, Latina/o, African American, and Asian students Table 4 23. Results of logit analyzing the relat ionship between traumatic stress and culture Parameter Name Estimate Odds Ratio Standard Error t Statistic p > |t| Latina/o 0.027 0.973 0.173 0.158 0.875 African American 0.317 1.373 0.192 1.649 0.103 Asian 1.436 0.238 0.276 5.203 0.000 *** Na tive American 0.230 1.259 0.216 1.066 0.289 Native Hawaiian 0.240 1.271 0.440 0.546 0.587 Multi cultural 0.111 0.895 0.339 0.328 0.744 Note: Culture reference category was European American; Traumatic Stress reference category was No Traumatic Str ess Note: *** Significant at level

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85 Table 4 24. Results of follow up t tests analyzing relationship between traumatic stress and culture Culture Percentage Culture Percentage T statistic p > t European American 10.1% Asian 2.6% 6.652 0.000 *** Latina/o 9.9% Asian 2.6% 5.085 0.000 *** African American 13.4% Asian 2.6% 5.700 0.000 *** Note: *** Significant at level Figure 4 14. Distribution of traumatic stress by socioeconomic status (SES) Table 4 25. Results of logit analyzing the relationship between traumatic stress and socioeconomic status (SES) Parameter Name Estimate Odds Ratio Standard Error t Stati stic p > |t| Mid Low SES 0.480 0.619 0.170 2.817 0.006 ** Mid SES 0.414 0.661 0.203 2.037 0.045 Mid High SES 0.776 0.460 0.237 3.280 0.001 ** High SES 0.949 0.387 0.212 4.480 0.000 *** Note: SES reference category was Low SES; Traumatic St ress reference category was No Traumatic Stress Note: *** Significant at level

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86 Table 4 26. Results of linear regression analyzing the relationship between reading achievement and gend er, culture, socioeconomic status (SES), and traumatic stress Parameter Estimate Standard Error t Statistic p > |t| Gender 2.686 0.758 3.542 0.001 ** Latina/o 6.421 1.031 6.228 0.000 *** African American 9.038 1.525 5.925 0.000 *** Asian 0.871 1 .316 0.662 0.510 Native American 14.083 5.673 2.482 0.015 Native Hawaiian 7.234 3.082 2.347 0.021 Multi -cultural 0.454 1.859 0.244 0.808 Mid Low SES 9.150 1.520 6.021 0.000 *** Mid SES 14.424 1.554 9.281 0.000 *** Mid High SES 18.281 1.469 12.443 0.000 *** High SES 24.988 1.606 15.555 0.000 *** Traumatic Stress 11.208 1.531 7.321 0.000 *** R Square = 0.257 Note: Culture reference category was European American; SES reference category was Low SES; Traumatic Stress reference cat egory was No Traumatic Stress; Gender reference category was Male Note: *** Significant at level

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87 Table 4 27. Results of linear regression analyzing the relationship between mathematics achievement and gender, culture, socioeconomic status (SES), and trau matic stress Parameter Estimate Standard Error t Statistic p > |t| Gender 4.319 0.725 5.954 0.000 *** Latina/o 4.515 1.071 4.216 0.000 *** African American 10.791 1.394 7.739 0.000 *** Asian 3.733 1.396 2.674 0.009 ** Native American 13.575 2 .751 4.934 0.000 *** Native Hawaiian 6.720 2.276 2.952 0.004 ** Multi cultural 0.057 2.140 0.027 0.979 Mid Low SES 5.502 1.187 4.636 0.000 *** Mid SES 10.888 1.414 7.697 0.000 *** Mid High SES 13.634 1.532 8.902 0.000 *** High SES 20.222 1.471 13 .750 0.000 *** Traumatic Stress 11.719 1.590 7.372 0.000 *** R-Square = 0.243 Note: Culture reference category was European American; SES reference category was Low SES; Traumatic Stress reference category was No Traumatic Stress; Gender refer ence category was Male Note: *** Significant at level

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88 Table 4 28. Results of linear regression analyzing the relationship between science achievement and gender, culture, socioeconomic status (SES), and traumati c stress Parameter Estimate Standard Error t Statistic p > |t| Gender 3.567 0.476 7.487 0.000 *** Latina/o 6.187 0.695 8.902 0.000 *** African American 10.344 0.955 10.834 0.000 *** Asian 2.632 0.933 2.820 0.006 ** Native American 10.858 1. 847 5.878 0.000 *** Native Hawaiian 9.782 1.876 5.214 0.000 *** Multi -cultural 0.603 1.280 0.471 0.639 Mid Low SES 5.054 0.848 5.961 0.000 *** Mid SES 8.653 0.946 9.144 0.000 *** Mid High SES 10.451 0.985 10.606 0.000 *** High SES 14.124 1.100 12.844 0.000 *** Traumatic Stress 6.528 1.012 6.453 0.000 *** R Square = 0.309 Note: Culture reference category was European American; SES reference category was Low SES; Traumatic Stress reference category was No Traumatic Stress; Gender refe rence category was Male Note: *** Significant at level

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89 Table 4 29. Results of linear regression analyzing the relationship between absences and gender, culture, socioeconomic status (SES), and traumatic stress Par ameter Estimate Standard Error t Statistic p > |t| Gender 0.031 0.039 0.781 0.437 Latina/o 0.272 0.048 5.622 0.000 *** African American 0.285 0.062 4.557 0.000 *** Asian 0.657 0.081 8.153 0.000 *** Native American 0.276 0.104 2.660 0.009 ** Native Hawaiian 0.020 0.167 0.123 0.903 Multi cultural 0.025 0.134 0.183 0.855 Mid Low SES 0.191 0.055 3.489 0.001 ** Mid SES 0.240 0.062 3.864 0.000 *** Mid High SES 0.314 0.071 4.415 0.000 *** High SES 0.505 0.058 8.666 0.000 *** Trau matic Stress 0.078 0.085 0.923 0.358 R Square = 0.036 Note: Culture reference category was European American; SES reference category was Low SES; Traumatic Stress reference category was No Traumatic Stress; Gender reference category was Male No te: *** Significant at level

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90 Table 4 30. Results of logit analyzing the relationship between having an individualized education plan (IEP) on file and gender, culture, socioeconomic stat us (SES), and traumatic stress Parameter Estimate Odd s Ratio Standard Error t Statistic p > |t| Gender 0.690 0.502 0.156 4.420 0.000 *** Latina/o 0.328 0.720 0.149 2.197 0.031 African American 0.472 0.624 0.227 2.082 0.040 Asian 1.139 0.32 0 0.261 4.361 0.000 *** Native American 0.474 1.606 0.210 2.253 0.027 Native Hawaiian 0.396 0.673 0.527 0.752 0.454 Multi -cultural 1.040 0.353 0.342 3.043 0.003 ** Mid Low SES 0.458 0.633 0.227 2.014 0.047 Mid SES 0.665 0.514 0.236 2.822 0.006 ** Mid High SES 0.950 0.387 0.222 4.285 0.000 *** High SES 0.893 0.409 0.228 3.927 0.000 *** Traumatic Stress 0.946 2.575 0.193 4.910 0.000 *** Note: Culture reference category was European American; SES reference category was Low SES; Traum atic Stress reference category was No Traumatic Stress; Gender reference category was Male; IEP reference category was No IEP Note: *** Significant at level

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91 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The purpose of the chapter is to discuss the findings regarding the factors impacting academic achievement for fifth grade students. Limita tions of the study will be discussed, as well as implications for practice and policy and future research. Factors Influencing Academic Achievement The results of this study indicated that traumatic stress as well as gender, culture, and socioeconomic sta tus (SES) were significant influences on the academic achievement of the fifth grade students sampled. Traumatic Stress Findings of the study indicate that traumatic stress has a significant, detrimental effect on academic achievement of fifth grade stud ents. Achievement scores were significantly lower for students with traumatic stress than students without. Furthermore, students with traumatic stress were more than twice as likely to be tracked for low ability. These findings are consistent with the hypothesized framework that traumatic stress would negatively impact academic achievement. Of particular interest is the relationship between having an individualized education plan (IEP) on file and traumatic stress. These findings suggest that not only do s tudents achievement scores suffer due to trauma, but counselors and educators find traumatized students to have learning disabilities and other special needs. As suggested by Levine and Kline (2007), this raises the concern that symptoms of traumatic stre ss are being misunderstood as problems of attention deficit, conduct disorder, or autism. While the other academic achievement measures revealed negative effects due to trauma, the rate of absences did not differ by traumatic stress, suggesting that stude nts with traumatic stress are not more disengaged from school than those without. Given the symptoms of traumatic

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92 stress, it is notable that absences were not higher for students with traumatic stress. It would be reasonable to expect that the somatic comp laints, such as headaches or stomachaches, related to trauma might negatively affect student attendance at school. A possible implication of this result is that students may be experiencing traumatic stress within the school setting. This theory is support ed by research in the area of educational hegemony that discusses the systemic oppression and bias inherent in the school setting (Tatum, 2007), as well as research demonstrating the traumatic impact of discrimination (Carter, 2007). Gender Gender was fou nd to play a significant role in the academic performance of students. While males performed better in mathematics and science, females performed better in reading. This is consistent with current research showing that females tend to underperform in scien ce and mathematics, limiting their entry into related fields including engineering and medicine (West Olatunji et al. 2007). Male students were twice as likely to be tracked for low ability special education as were female students. This raises the concer n that males are disproportionately tracked for special education, which may be due to gendered behaviors that tend to be more disruptive and less compliant than females (Hale, 2001). As Hale asserted, teacher expectations about appropriate and compliant b ehaviors in the classroom are often based on female perspectives. Furthermore, young boys tend to have difficulty inhibiting movement, which studies show corresponds to lower standardized test scores. The issue of gender, achievement, and remedial tracki ng is further complicated by the findings regarding traumatic stress: males were almost three times as likely to have traumatic stress as compared to females. These findings appear to contradict previous literature that has suggested that females are more vulnerable to trauma than males (Anda, Croft, et al., 1999; Cuffe et al., 1998). However, research has found that females are more likely to have

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93 internalizing symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, while externalizing symptoms are more common for males (Levine & Kline, 2007). Internalizing behaviors, such as depression, withdrawal, or sadness, are less disruptive in the educational setting than are the aggressive, acting out behaviors that connote externalizing symptoms. However, the symptoms of trauma tic stress that are easily recognized and also problematic for educators, including hyperactivity, aggression, and other disruptive behaviors, are consistent with male tendencies of behavior. Therefore, the results of this study imply that males may be exhibiting traumatic stress symptoms in behaviors that are consistent with traditional views of trauma, while females are not. As such, traumatic stress among female students may go unrecognized by educators and counselors in the school setting. The intersection between low ability tracking and traumatic stress symptoms for boys suggests that boys are at risk to be placed in special education when they may in fact be demonstrating symptoms of trauma. Culture Across the academic subjects evaluated, European A merican, Asian, and multi -cultural students outperformed their Latina/o, African American, Native American, and Native Hawaiian counterparts. In addition, there was only a small percentage of Asian students with ten or more absences (6.9%), contrasted with a large percentage of Native American students with ten or more absences (40.9%). Similarly, while most cultural groups sampled had between 10.1% and 12.4% of students with an IEP on file, Native Americans had about twice this rate (22.0%) and Asian stude nts had about half this rate (4.2%). Results relating to Native Americans are tentative, as the sample size was small. However, they suggest that Native Americans may face additional barriers in terms of being engaged in school and also succeeding in the s chooling environment. Additional research is needed to assess factors contributing to high absence rates, as well as the high placement in special education. Additionally, the results regarding Asian students are

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94 limited as this study did not examine sub-g roups who consistently show underperformance (Kim et al., 1998). More investigation is needed to examine the differential achievement of some Asian students. The low incidence of disengagement and low ability tracking for Asian students is consistent wit h the high achievement scores found as well as previous literature on high achievement among this cultural group (Braswell et al., 2001). Given the high achievement scores of European American students, it would be excepted that these students have low abs ence rates and low rates of having an IEP. However, this was not the case; European American students had a higher, but nonsignificant, rate of low ability tracking than did their Latina/o and African American counterparts, who underperformed on the cognit ive achievement measures. These results are further contextualized by the findings on traumatic stress and culture. While African American, Native American, and Native Hawaiian students all had a higher rate of traumatic stress than European American stud ents, these differences were not significant. Among cultural groups, the only significant difference was the percentage of Asian students with traumatic stress, which was much lower than any other cultural group (2.6%). These results suggest that perhaps t he lower rate of traumatic stress symptoms identified allow Asian students to perform successfully in the school setting. However, European American students had cognitive achievement scores comparable to the high achievement of Asian students. Thus, the absence of traumatic stress does not fully explain the high achievement of Asian and European American students as compared to Latina/o and African American students. The implications are twofold. First, these results suggest a disproportionately low rate of traumatic stress for Asian students, which may be due to culturally based behaviors that tend to emphasize

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95 compliance. For Asian students, traumatic stress might not be exhibited as disruptive, externalizing behaviors. As such, traumatic stress among As ian students could go unnoticed and untreated. Given that Asian students achievement does not appear to be compromised by any underlying traumatic stress, further exploration is needed not only of traumatic stress symptoms for Asian students, but the effe ctive protective and resilience factors that aid in their success within the school setting. Second, traumatic stress does not explain the high achievement among European American students as compared to Latina/o and African American students. While Africa n American students experienced more traumatic stress than European American students, these differences were not significant. As such, culture seems to play a unique role in the achievement of the students sampled. This role may be contextualized by the hegemony inherent in the school setting, including lower teacher expectations and stereotype threat (Steele, 1997; Tatum, 2007). Furthermore, attention should be given to the intersection of culture and class as Latina/o and African American students are di sproportionately represented among lower socioeconomic status groups; this issue is addressed below. Socioeconomic Status Among the students sampled, as socioeconomic status (SES) increased achievement, scores increased in reading, science, and mathematic s. Lower SES students were also found to have higher rates of absences, indicating a higher level of school disengagement among these students. The percentage of low SES students with an IEP (18.4%) was approximately twice that of the mid -high (8.7%) and high (9.1%) SES students. This is of particular interest as it indicates that lower SES students are more likely to be deemed needing special education services. While the IEP rate generally decreased as SES increased, the slight, nonsignificant, increase f or high SES students might be explained by upper income parents soliciting testing and other

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96 accommodations to give their children advantages on school achievement measures (Hale, 2001). The comparatively high rate of low SES students with an IEP could be related to deficit orientated views educators often take of lower income students noted in previous scholarship (Steele, 1997). Further, higher income students often have access to education supplements, such as tutoring, or to informal information from t he social relationships their parents have with teachers (Hale, 2001). Additional help offered to higher income students places their lower income peers at a disadvantage as lower income students appear to be inherently less competent in school, while this may not be the reality. As noted above, the intersection of culture and class may be significant as Latina/o and African American students are much more likely than their European American counterparts to be from lower SES background. In fact, while fewe r then 10% of Latina/o and African American students are from high SES families, fewer than 10% of European American students are from low SES families. Issues of low teacher expectations, stereotyped threat, and hegemony may intersect for low income, cult urally diverse students. Due to the disproportionate number of lower SES Latina/o and African American students, teacher assumptions about student ability based on class bias may transfer to lower expectations for culturally diverse students. Limitations Limitations of this study include the use of pre -created variables to assess traumatic stress symptoms in post -hoc analysis. Review of the literature and consultation were used to develop an effective measure of traumatic stress, relying on the social and emotional behavior indicators available in the ECLS -K dataset. Specific physiological and somatic symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or enuresis were not available. Also, these indicators cannot reveal the childrens perceptions of experiences in or der to ascertain if they were perceived as sudden,

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97 negative, and uncontrollable (Carlson, 1997). The nascent understanding of trauma and academic achievement should be augmented by investigations which can measure additional symptoms of trauma and also chi ldrens perceptions in order to determine their experiences of traumatic stress. Furthermore, longitudinal research would be needed to determine a cause and effect relationship between trauma and achievement. Such a study would be possible if only one tim e traumatic incidents were being examined. Measures would need to be available from both before and after the event, thus regular measurements, such as yearly testing or grades, could be used as a traumatic event could ethically not be planned for the stud y. However, the literature on longterm, systemic trauma makes longitudinal research difficult, as there is not necessarily a clear beginning or end to the trauma. This further implies the need for studies that can explore individual perceptions of traumat ic stress events, symptoms, and outcomes in order to understand relationship between trauma and achievement. Implications for Practice In order to address the issues of traumatic stress, there is a need for school -based interventions that both counselors and educators can facilitate. Awareness that childrens disruptive behaviors may actually be symptoms of traumatic stress can enable counselors and educators to make more accurate assessments of childrens abilities and needs. Thus, children can be provide d with appropriate interventions in order to ameliorate the effects of traumatic stress and address chronic underachievement. Traumatic Stress Assessment The results of this study, which identify traumatic stress as a significant factor in academic achiev ement imply that students who are experiencing traumatic stress need to be identified in order to receive the appropriate interventions. Ensuring that all school counselors are able to identify symptoms of trauma is a first step toward addressing this iss ue. Furthermore,

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98 educators can be trained by school counselors to be able to recognize the symptoms of trauma. Ensuring that children exhibiting such symptoms are then referred to the counselor and given appropriate screening is an essential element of edu cational practice. Training on traumatic stress assessment should include somatic and physiological symptoms as well and behavioral indicators (Levine & Kline, 2007). Additionally, these assessments should not limit the concept of trauma to a one-time even t, but should include individual perception and systemic experiences as sources of trauma. Results of this study showing a higher rate of traumatic stress among lower SES students imply that counselors need to be proactive in indentifying symptoms of trau matic stress for these students. Lower SES students face not only the increased risk for trauma, but also may have limited economic resources with which to seek assessment and assistance. Counselors should be proactive in serving as advocates for these st udents and families s o that vulnerable students are appropriately identified. Counselor training should include advocacy training for working with lower SES students around the issue of traumatic stress. The disproportionately high rate of traumatic stress found among boys versus girls indicates that traumatic stress assessment practices are needed that can identify symptoms of both genders. Given the findings of previous studies that girls experience more traumatic events than boys (Anda, Croft, et al., 1999; Cuffe et al., 1998), the low rate of traumatic stress found among girls suggests that assessments should be designed to include the internalizing symptoms prevalent among girls (Levine & Kline, 2007). Educators and counselors may also tend to over refe r boys due to their tendency for more disruptive behaviors; therefore assessments for boys should be examined.

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99 Related to the issue of the disproportionately high rate of traumatic stress among boys is the issue of IEP disproportionality. Low ability trac king was twice as common among males as compared to females. Therefore, it is critical to examine assessment practices to see that they account for gender related behaviors, as it appears that current tracking measures may pathologize male behaviors and ma y fail to identify special education indicators among females. This study raises concerns about the appropriate placement of students in low ability programs. As such, it is critical that the expertise of counselors in traumatic stress and psychological he alth be utilized in such decisions. Counselors need to insert themselves into the special education process to provide information and advocacy for students and ensure that the tracking is appropriate. Screening is needed before students are given an IEP s o that there can be a differential diagnosis for traumatic stress. School counselor education programs can train students to differentiate between traumatic stress and special needs so that counselors can serve as consultants within the school setting. Special Education Assessment Related to the issue of traumatic stress assessment is that of special education assessment. The disproportionately high rate of having an IEP among Native American students as well as the disproportionately low rate among Asian students indicates the need for improved screening practices when placing students in special education. It appears that the current screening practices are not able to identify learning or other behavior problems that would connote the need for an IEP amo ng Asian students, perhaps due to culturally-based behaviors that are viewed as more compliant and less problematic among educators. For Native American students, it appears that educators and other school personnel responsible for low ability tracking are over identifying special education needs among these students, perhaps also due to culturallybased behaviors.

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100 Educators need to examine the placement practices to address the barriers faced by lower income students, as well as the advantages provided to higher income students. Hale (2001) suggested that both formal and informal education supplements given to higher income students increases the educational standards all students are measured against, creating a systemic disadvantage for students whose fa milies are not as privileged. Educators can also examine placement practices to determine what imbedded class assumptions or biases are present. Traumatic Stress Interventions in Schools The results of this study indicate that counselors need to develop t reatments that ameliorate traumatic stress in school settings. In order to address the chronic underachievement of students experiencing traumatic stress, counselors can provide interventions that specifically address behaviors that negatively impact stude nts ability to learn and perform academically, such as acting out, difficulty concentrating, and hyperactivity. Intervention for traumatic stress can be delivered by counselors in individual sessions or in group or school -wide formats. Educators can also ameliorate or prevent traumatic stress through their pedagogical practices. Individual sessions with students identified to have traumatic stress can focus on both physiological symptomology and developing understanding of the traumatic experience. Counse lors can assist students with reducing somatic symptoms and other symptoms that make learning difficult, such as dissociation, hyperactivity, and aggression (Levine & Kline, 2007). Counselors can also work with students to create an understanding of the tr aumatic experience. In the case of systemic, long -term traumas, such as discrimination or domestic violence, counselors can assist students in deconstructing such events in order to reduce any personal blame they may feel. Understanding the pathology of a system in which certain individuals are marginalized or victimized repeatedly can facilitate healing (Herman, 1997). In additional to individual interventions, counselors can offer group or school -wide

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101 interventions for students within the school setting. Students who are identified as vulnerable to traumatic experiences, such as systemic oppression, would be candidates for such interventions. Such services may be particularly important for lower SES students who are vulnerable to trauma and whose families may not be able to obtain outside services. An example of a large group intervention for traumatic stress is the Rites of Passage (ROP) program used with African American male students (Brooks, West Olatunji & Baker, 2005). This program uses culturally co ngruent rituals to develop the resilience of students who may be impacted by hegemony both inside and outside of the school setting. Counselor education programs can train counseling students to be able to deliver such interventions, as well as to serve as advocates for marginalized, low SES students to receive strength-base programming. Finally, interventions for traumatic stress can be imbedded in the educational curriculum and pedagogical practices. Scholars in the area of culturally appropriate pedag ogy have noted that culturally diverse learners are negatively impacted by the lack of positive affirmations of their culture and the absence of teaching methods that incorporate their culturally based learning styles (Tatum, 2007). Furthermore, psychologi cal distress can be caused by hegemony inherent in teaching practices and imbedded in curriculum (Cholewa & West Olatunji, 2008). Hale (2001) recommended that educators have accountability measures in place to ensure that hegemony is reduced in the learnin g environment and that diverse cultures and learning styles are affirmed. In order to accomplish these tasks, teachers need increased awareness of their own biases and assumptions about students. Counselors can serve to facilitate this awareness among educ ators by serving as consultants on culture, bias, and traumatic stress. Implications for Policy The chronic underachievement of students from lower SES and culturally diverse families found in this study confirms the importance of the ongoing struggle for education policy makers

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102 to improve the educational performance of these students. The results of this study may assist p olicy makers in reexamining how standards and accountability are viewed in education particularly in low resourced schools that so ofte n serve culturally diverse students (Lipman, 2006). The rela tionship between traumatic stress and academic achievement demonstrates a need for policy makers to address both issues of reducing systemic oppression within the school as well as providing resou rces to support the amelioration of trauma. This is of particular concern given the high rate of traumatic stress among lower SES students, whom are disproportionately culturally diverse. These results help contextualize the disproportionate educational ou tcomes and the relationship between historical inequities in income and access to resources (King, 2005). This study provides evidence that disparities in school funding serve to further marginalize students who are already facing significant barriers to s uccess that are not based on personal or cultural deficits. Furthermore, this studys results on the disproportionate number of boys with an IEP on file and with traumatic stress suggest that policy makers can be instrumental in reexamining the issues of special education placement. Improvements are needed in conceptualization of student needs as well as differentiating traumatic stress and learning disorders. Education policy makers can emphasize accountability among counselors and educators to ensure tha t school personnel have knowledge of traumatic stress in order to develop accurate conceptualizations and deliver the appropriate services. Students inaccurately placed on low ability tracking may continue to experience unhealed traumatic stress, receiving interventions for a problem they may not have and no assistance to heal their psychological trauma.

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103 Implications for Future Research Traumatic Stress Assessment Qualitative research is needed in order to develop greater understanding of how school aged c hildren experience traumatic stress from nontraditional perspectives As traditional trauma has focused on one -time, identified events, research into the impact of long-term, systemic trauma, such as systemic oppression and transgenerational trauma is nee ded among this population (Carter, 2007; Goodman & West Olatunji, 2008). Students may also experience traumatic stress within the school setting, which requires further research to ascertain how within -school traumatic experiences impact school performance and engagement Research can examine how symptoms may manifest differently from different types of trauma so that accurate traumatic stress assessments can be developed. Furthermore, qualitative research is needed that explores traumatic stress for stude nts who are less likely to express symptoms as externalizing behaviors. This includes female students who are socialized to exhibit more internalizing behaviors that are less likely to cause disruptions in the classroom and receive attention or cause conce rn (Levine & Kline, 2007). Asian students may also appear more compliant in the classroom, as their culture often dictates less disru ptive behaviors (Sue & Sue, 2003 ). Research is needed to ascertain the experiences of such students in order to determine how traumatic stress symptoms may be expressed differently among students who tend to appear more compliant. Furthermore, research can investigate differential academic achievement among some Asian students who tend to underperform as compared to high achi evement Asian students, often viewed as the model minority (Kim et al., 1998). Traumatic Stress Treatment Studies of counseling interventions and programs should be developed to determine effective trauma treatments. Such interventions can be evaluated us ing outcomes measures of

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104 academic achievement as well as measures of psychological wellbeing. For socially marginalized students, it is critical that interventions be created and evaluated using culturally appropriate methods that incorporate the lived exp eriences and intersecting identities of these individuals. Research in this area can provide counselors with effective, evidence -based practices, which counselor educators can incorporate in counselor training. Research is needed that includes t he voices of socially marginalized students so that counselors can provide preventative and remedial interventions for these students that address their unique concerns and experiences. While physiological trauma symptoms appear to be universal (Levine & Kline, 2007), behavioral symptoms may manifest differently. As cultural norms and values shape individuals behaviors and interactions (Sue & Sue, 2003), it is likely that culture may also shape those behaviors that are manifestations of traumatic stress. Program ev aluation is needed to identify effective interventions for traumatic stress in school settings. Individual interventions may be effective, however, group interventions are needed to reach a larger number of students, particularly in schools with limited re sources. Such interventions should be evaluated to determine their effectiveness, particularly with populations that are vulnerable to traumatic stress and have limited resources. School -wide programs could be useful in addressing traumatic stress among in dividuals that manifest symptoms in difficult to recognize ways. If effective interventions or programs can be identified, they might be infused into curriculum, thereby reaching students who were not able to be identified as having traumatic stress. Cultu rally appropriate pedagogy could serve as a way to provide healing without targeting particular students, as it can affirm identify and promote resilience (Tatum, 2007). To further the understanding of resilience, additional ecosystemic factors can be in corporated into research on traumatic stress and academic achievement research. Such research

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105 should examine parenting factors that can promote resilience among students, thereby improving academic functioning despite exposure to stressful experiences. Som e research has found that certain parenting practices among culturally diverse students can assuage the impact of hegemony and traumatic stress, leading to educational success ( West Olatunji, Mehta, Sanders & Behar Horenstein, in press). In addition, resea rch in the area of transgenerational trauma indicates that a parents traumatic experience can be a source of trauma for a child. As such, research is needed to examine how transgenerational trauma might also impact academic functioning. Transgenerational trauma can also lead to the development of resilience and coping skills that may assist in mitigating the impact of traumatic experiences (Goodman & West Olatunji, 2008). A greater understanding of this is needed in terms of the educational success of stud ents. Further research is needed on the intersection of gender, culture, and SES so that these identities are not essentialized but understood as multidimensional and interconnected parts of an individuals life experiences. Large -scale, nationally repres entative datasets such as the ECLS -K can be used to perform quantitative analysis to further the understanding of traumatic stress for students who are marginalized due to gender, culture, and SES. Complimentary qualitative methods are also needed to further the understanding of how the multiple dimensions of an individuals identity intersect to inform educational and traumatic experiences. Academic Achievement This study also implies the need for research to understand chronically underachieving students. In particular, research is needed to further understand the factors influencing the high percentage of Native American students with ten or more absences. The small sample size of Native Americans in this study limits the conclusions that can be drawn from this study regarding this population and the intersection of achievement and traumatic stress. Culture -

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106 centered research methodologies can be used to develop greater understanding of Native American students schooling experiences, including disengagemen t and low achievement scores. Furthermore, research on IEP tracking must also include a study of the cultural disparity in placement. The low percentage of Asian students and the high percentage of Native American students both indicate problems with the I EP system. Studies that can illuminate the culturally based behaviors that educators may miss -label as indicative of special needs, as well as the culturally based behaviors that actually do represent the need for an IEP, are required for the effective pl acement and education of students. Similarly, research that examines class -based behaviors disproportionately determined to indicate the need for special education placement is also needed. Qualitative research that gives voice to parents and students fro m lower SES backgrounds could enhance counselors and educators understanding of their experiences with placement. While there is research on the barriers facing lower SES students that may lead to high absence rates and disengagement from schools, resear ch is needed to examine what interventions are effective in ameliorating this problem. Research is also needed that identifies the gendered behaviors of male and female students in order to correctly screen for special education services. Indeed, the dispr oportionately high number of males with an IEP as compared to the number of females indicates the need for research that assists in differentiating both common male and female behaviors that require special education as compared to other types of services.

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121 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Rachael Donelson Goodman was born in 1980 in Williamsburg, Virginia. She grew up primarily in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2002, she received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her Master of Educatio n and Specialist of Education degrees in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Florida in 2006. Her research focuses on traumatic stress for socially marginalized populations using quantitative and qualitative culture -centered methodologies