Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

First Advisor

Ram Cnaan, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Thomas E. Owens DSW



Integrating Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness Interventions into Urban Public High Schools for the Benefit of both Teachers and Students

Jonathan Rivers LICSW

Dissertation Chair: Ram Cnaan, Ph.D.

The purpose of this dissertation is to create a trauma-sensitive mindfulness curriculum that can be easily implemented in urban secondary schools. Emotional, academic, and behavioral difficulties are common among urban youth as they struggle to cope with the impact of toxic stress and complex trauma. School-based mindfulness instruction has become a popular means of addressing the development of emotional regulation, attention, and performance of students across the country. Growing positive evidence supports the use of mindfulness-based approaches to help adolescents cope with the impact of toxic stress and complex trauma. This dissertation will examine the impact that toxic stress and complex trauma have on both students and teachers at urban secondary schools, discuss the use of mindfulness-based strategies to cope with these issues and ultimately create a mindfulness-based curriculum that can be easily implemented by teachers.

Keywords: Mindfulness; Toxic Stress; Complex Trauma; Urban Secondary Education

Included in

Social Work Commons