School Mental Health

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 7–43 | Cite as

School-Related Outcomes of Traumatic Event Exposure and Traumatic Stress Symptoms in Students: A Systematic Review of Research from 1990 to 2015

  • Michelle M. Perfect
  • Matt R. Turley
  • John S. Carlson
  • Justina Yohanna
  • Marla Pfenninger Saint Gilles
Original Paper


The purpose of this study was to systematically review the literature to identify school-related outcomes associated with trauma in school-aged youth. The sample of articles (n = 83) included data on school-aged youth (pre-kindergarten to grade 12) who were 18 years or younger. Cognitive, academic, and teacher reported social-emotional-behavioral outcomes associated with traumatic event exposure and traumatic stress symptoms were examined. The findings from this systematic review further assist educators and school professionals in recognizing the potential impact of traumatic event exposure and traumatic stress symptoms on school-related functioning. Implications for future research include the need to utilize clear operational definitions of traumatic event exposure and traumatic stress symptoms to allow for aggregation of findings across studies, to conduct longitudinal studies to be conducted within the school context, and to take the critical next step of school-based trauma interventions to incorporate school-related outcomes.


Trauma School-related outcomes Systematic review Children 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors declare a conflict of interest.


*denotes article included in systematic review

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle M. Perfect
    • 1
  • Matt R. Turley
    • 1
  • John S. Carlson
    • 2
  • Justina Yohanna
    • 2
  • Marla Pfenninger Saint Gilles
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Disability and Psychoeducational StudiesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special EducationMichigan State UniversityLansingUSA

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