Skip to main content

Family-School Strategies for Responding to the Needs of Children Experiencing Chronic Stress

Abstract

Children experience chronic stress in ways that can impair their brain functioning and overall development. This article articulates the unique needs of children experiencing chronic stress and discusses strategies that families and schools can use to support and strengthen children’s development across the social, emotional, and cognitive domains.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Armstrong, S. (2008). Teaching smarter with the brain in focus. New York, NY: Scholastic.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Baker, L., & Cunningham, A. (2009). Inter-parental violence: The pre-schooler’s perspective and the educator’s role. Early Childhood Education Journal, 37(3), 199–207.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bancroft, L. (2004). When dad hurts mom: Helping your children heal the wounds of witnessing abuse. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Begley, S. (2007). Train your mind, change your brain. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base: Parent-child attachment and healthy human development. New York, NY: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Brazelton, T., & Greenspan, S. (2000). The irreducible needs of children. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Bremmer, J. (2008). The lasting effects of psychological trauma on memory and the hippocampus. Accessed at http://www.lawandpsychiatry.com/html/hippocampus.htm.

  8. Bronfenbrenner, U. (2005). Making human beings human: Bioecological perspectives on human development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2003). First reports evaluating the effectiveness of strategies for preventing violence: Early childhood home visitation, and firearms laws. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 52(RR-14), 1–9.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Daro, D., & McCurdy, K. (2007). Interventions to prevent child maltreatment. In L. Doll, S. Bonzo, D. Sleet, J. Mercy, & E. Hass (Eds.), Handbook of injury violence prevention (pp. 137–156). New York, NY: Springer.

  11. Dube, S., Anda, R., Felitti, V., Edwards, V., & Williamson, D. (2002). Exposure to abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction among adults who witnessed intimate partner violence as children: Implications for health and social services. Violence Victims, 17(1), 3–17.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Dube, S., Anda, R., Whitfield, C., Brown, D., Felitti, V., & Dong, M. (2005). Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of victim. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 27(5), 430–438.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Friedman, H., & Martin, L. (2011). The longevity project. New York, NY: Hudson Street Press.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Galinsky, E. (2010). Mind in the making: The seven essential life skills every child needs. New York, NY: Harper Studio.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Gopnik, A., Meltzoff, A., & Kuhl, P. (1999). The scientist in the crib: Minds, brains, and how children learn. New York, NY: William Morrow.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Haeseler, L. (2009). Biblio-therapeutic book creations by pre-service student teachers: Helping elementary school children cope. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 36(2), 113–118.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Heretick, D. (2003). The empowered family: Raising responsible and caring children in violent times. Toledo, OH: Mercy Health Partners.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Marciodi, C. (2009). Resilience matters in traumatized children’s lives—and sensory activities make the difference. Psychology Today, February, 1–3.

  19. Marion, M. (2003). Guidance of young children (6th ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  20. McEwen, B. (2011). Effects of stress on the developing brain. Dana Foundation Report. March, 2011.

  21. Medina, J. (2008). Brain rules. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Medina, J. (2010). Brain rules for baby. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.

    Google Scholar 

  23. National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. (2006). Children’s emotional development is built into the architecture of their brains. Working paper #2. Cambridge, MA: The Council.

  24. O’Neil, L., Guenette, F., & Kitchenham, A. (2010). ‘Am I safe here and do you like me?’ Understanding complex trauma and attachment disruption in the classroom. British Journal of Special Education, 37(4), 190–197.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Perry, B. (2002). Helping traumatized children: A brief overview for caregivers. Houston, TX: The Child Trauma Academy.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Perry, B. (2004). Maltreatment and the developing child: How early childhood experience shapes child and culture. The Margaret McCain Lecture Series Presentation. Ontario, CA: The Center for Children and Families in the Justice System.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Perry, B. (2009). Maltreated children: Experience, brain development and the next generation. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Perry, B., & Szalavitz, M. (2006). The boy who was raised as a dog and other stories from a child psychiatrist’s notebook. New York, NY: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Restak, R. (2003). The new brain. New York, NY: Rodale.

  30. Reynolds, A., Temple, J., & Ou, S. (2003). School-based early intervention and child well-being in the Chicago longitudinal study. Child Welfare, 82, 633–656.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Schwartz, J., & Begley, S. (2003). The mind and the brain. New York, NY: Harper Perrennial.

  32. Shenk, D. (2010). The genius in all of us. New York, NY: Doubleday.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Swick, K. (2005). Preventing violence through empathy development in families. Early Childhood Education Journal, 33(1), 53–59.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Taylor, S. (2002). The tending instinct: How nurturing is essential to who we are and how we live. New York, NY: Times Books, Henry Holt.

    Google Scholar 

  35. US Department of Health and Human Services. (2008). The effects of childhood stress on health across the lifespan. Washington, DC: The Department.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Ziegler, D. (2011). Impacting the brain of the traumatized child. Published on-line by the Jasper Mountain Hope for Children and Families.

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kevin J. Swick.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Swick, K.J., Knopf, H., Williams, R. et al. Family-School Strategies for Responding to the Needs of Children Experiencing Chronic Stress. Early Childhood Educ J 41, 181–186 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-012-0546-5

Download citation

Keywords

  • Child development
  • Stress
  • Neuroscience
  • Childhood trauma