The Urban Review

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 520–542

Assessing Perceptions of Culture and Trauma in an Elementary School: Informing a Model for Culturally Responsive Trauma-Informed Schools

  • Lisa V. Blitz
  • Elizabeth M. Anderson
  • Monique Saastamoinen

DOI: 10.1007/s11256-016-0366-9

Cite this article as:
Blitz, L.V., Anderson, E.M. & Saastamoinen, M. Urban Rev (2016) 48: 520. doi:10.1007/s11256-016-0366-9


Negative outcomes for students of color and those who are economically disadvantaged are troubling patterns in schools nationwide. Systemic racial disparities, including disproportional poverty, are part of the problem. Regardless of their race, however, children who live with poverty often have heightened exposure to adverse experiences. Implementing a culturally responsive trauma-informed approach to understand and respond to students can address the impact of disparities, teach resiliency skills, and promote the wellbeing and achievement of all students. This study describes a school-university collaboration to develop such a model. Findings explore school personnel’s perceptions about race, trauma, and the stressors their students face in the context of the developing model.


Culturally responsive Trauma-informed Toxic stress Disproportionality Secondary trauma Sanctuary Model 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa V. Blitz
    • 1
  • Elizabeth M. Anderson
    • 2
  • Monique Saastamoinen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Social Work, College of Community and Public AffairsBinghamton UniversityBinghamtonUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of EducationBinghamton UniversityBinghamtonUSA
  3. 3.Binghamton UniversityBinghamtonUSA

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