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Improving Educational Outcomes for Students Exposed to Violence: the CBITS Program . Marleen Wong, Ph.D., Director Crisis Counseling and Intervention Services Los Angeles Unified School District LAUSD/RAND/UCLA Trauma Services Adaptation Center for Schools and Communities

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Improving Educational Outcomes for Students Exposed to Violence: the CBITS Program

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Improving educational outcomes for students exposed to violence the cbits program

Improving Educational Outcomes for Students Exposed to Violence: the CBITS Program

Marleen Wong, Ph.D., DirectorCrisis Counseling and Intervention Services

Los Angeles Unified School District

LAUSD/RAND/UCLA Trauma Services Adaptation Center for Schools

and Communities

National Child Traumatic Stress Network/SAMHSA


How does violence exposure impact learning

How does violence exposure impact learning?

q  Decreased IQ and reading ability (Delaney-Black et al., 2003)

q  Lower grade-point average (Hurt et al., 2001)

qMore days of school absence (Hurt et al., 2001)

q  Decreased rates of high school graduation (Grogger, 1997)

q  Increased expulsions and suspensions (LAUSD Survey)


The achievement gap

THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP?

The negative effects of trauma exposure may explain one aspect of the bleak reality that African American and Latino students continue to trail far behind their Caucasian peers in schools, such as higher drop out rates from high school after generations of education “reform”.


How does distress from violence affect students in the classroom

How does distress from violence affect students in the classroom?

  • Decline in classroom performance from

    • Inability to concentrate

    • Flashbacks, preoccupation with trauma

    • Avoidance of school and other places

  • Development of other behavioral and emotional problems

    • Substance abuse

    • Aggression

    • Depression


Which students are at greatest risk for violence exposure

Which students are at greatest risk for violence exposure?

  • Ethnic minorities (90% in LAUSD)

  • Lower socio-economic status (73% in LAUSD on free or reduced lunch program)

  • Older children

  • Early conduct problems

  • Living in urban areas or in areas of high poverty and crime

  • Males


Why a program for traumatized students

Why a Program for Traumatized Students?

One night several years ago, I saw men shootingat each other, people running to hide. I was scaredand I thought I was going to die. After this happened, I started to have nightmares. I felt scared all the time. I couldn’t concentrate in class like before. I had thoughts that something bad could happen to me. I started to get in a lot of fights at school and with my brothers.

Martin, 6th grader


Why a program for traumatized students1

Why a Program for Traumatized Students?

One night several years ago, I saw men shootingat each other, people running to hide. I was scaredand I thought I was going to die. After this happened, I started to have nightmares. I felt scared all the time. I couldn’t concentrate in class like before. I had thoughts that something bad could happen to me. I started to get in a lot of fights at schooland with my brothers.

Martin, 6th grader


What can be done for students exposed to violence

What can be done for students exposed to violence?

  • Early detection of violence exposure and associated distress

  • Teaching students skills to cope better with distress and to learn social problem solving skills

  • Informing teachers and parents how they can support these students in the classroom and at home


Results of a school wide screening of lausd 6 th graders

Results of a school-wide screening of LAUSD 6th graders

Type ofexposurereported

Knife or gun involved

Victimization

Witnessed violence

0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%


Screening also identified many children with clinical symptoms

Screening also identified many children with clinical symptoms

Type ofexposurereported

Symptoms


Cognitive behavior therapy for trauma in schools the cbits program

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Trauma in Schools: The CBITS Program

  • 10 child group therapy sessions for trauma symptoms

  • 1-3 individual child sessions for exposure to trauma memory and treatment planning

  • Parent sessions on education about trauma, parenting support

  • A teacher in-service includes education about detecting and supporting traumatized students in the classroom


Key program components

Key Program Components

  • Educating students about trauma and common symptoms

  • Relaxation training and fear thermometer

  • Cognitive therapy

  • Learning to face the trauma

  • Building skills to get along with others


Cbits tailored for delivery in schools

CBITS tailored for delivery in schools

  • CBITS can be provided by school-based clinicians

    • Short training (2 days maximum)

    • Ongoing supervision can be provided

    • Easy to follow treatment manual with handouts for students

  • CBITS is feasible within schools

    • Sessions occur during one class period

    • Can be flexible with school schedule

    • Minimal burden on teachers

  • Easy identification of students for the program

    • Short screening questionnaire filled out by students


Cbits developed for multicultural communities

CBITS developed for multicultural communities

  • CBITS has been delivered to immigrant and non-immigrant communities in LAUSD

  • CBITS has been delivered in multiple languages

  • CBITS program is flexible to meet the needs of students and families from diverse backgrounds


Program evaluation overview

Program evaluation overview

61 students receive program immediately

159 students eligible for program

769 students screened for eligibility

126 students randomly assigned

65 students to receive program later


Treatment improves trauma symptoms

Treatment improves trauma symptoms

Immediate CBITS group

Delayed group

Received CBITS

Observation

30

25

AveragePTSDsymptomsscore

20

15

10

5

0

Before program

3-monthassessment

6-monthassessment

Stein et al., JAMA 2003


Improvement in symptoms lasts

Improvement in symptoms lasts

Immediate CBITS group

Delayed group

Received CBITS

Observation

30

25

AveragePTSDsymptomsscore

20

15

10

5

0

Before program

3-monthassessment

6-monthassessment

Stein et al., JAMA 2003


Parents report children doing better

Parents report children doing better

Immediate CBITS group

Delayed group

Received CBITS

Observation

25

20

Averagepsychosocialimpairmentscore

15

10

5

0

Before program

3-monthassessment

6-monthassessment

Stein et al., JAMA 2003


Improvement in functioning lasts

Improvement in functioning lasts

Immediate CBITS group

Delayed group

Received CBITS

Observation

25

20

Averagepsychosocialimpairmentscore

15

10

5

0

Before program

3-monthassessment

6-monthassessment

Stein et al., JAMA 2003


Grades and classroom behavior improved

Grades and classroom behavior improved

  • As trauma symptoms decreased, grades improved

  • Teachers reported fewer classroom learning problems after program

  • U.S. Department of Education has identified CBITS as a program that meets the standards of NCLB


Recommendations the president s new freedom commission on mental health

Recommendations: The President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health

  • Bring Science to School Services

    • Train school psychologists, social workers and counselors in effects of trauma and trauma interventions

    • Include teacher pre-service education on trauma and learning

  • Build the knowledge base for the treatment of trauma

    • Insist on outcome measures after crisis interventions

  • Expand and enhance school-based mental health programs

    • Organize existing school and community resources into integrated school mental health services


Further reading

Further reading

Jaycox, L. (2004). Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools. Longmont, CO: Sopris West Educational Services.

Jaycox, L.H., Stein, B., Kataoka, S., Wong, M., Fink, A., Escudera, P. & Zaragoza, C. (2002). Violence exposure, PTSD, and depressive symptoms among recent immigrant school children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41(9): 1104-1110.

Kataoka, S., Stein, B. D., Jaycox, L. H., Wong, M., Escudero, P., Tu, W., Zaragoza, C. & Fink, A. (2003). Effectiveness of a school-based mental health program for traumatized Latino immigrant children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 42(3):311-318.

Stein, B.D., Jaycox, L.H., Kataoka, S., Rhodes, H. & Vestal, K. (2003) Prevalence of child and adolescent exposure to community violence. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review,6(4):247-264.


Further reading1

Further reading

Stein, B.D., Jaycox, L.H., Kataoka, S.H., Wong, M., Tu, W., Elliott, M.N. & Fink, A. (2003). A mental health intervention for schoolchildren exposed to violence: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 290(5): 603-11.

Stein, B., Kataoka, S., Jaycox, L., Wong, M., Fink, A., Escudero, P. & Zaragoza, C. (2002). Theoretical basis and program design of a school based mental health intervention for traumatized immigrant children: A collaborative research partnership. Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 29(3), 318-326.

Stein, B. D., Kataoka, S., Jaycox, L.H., Steiger, E.M., Wong, M., Fink, A., Escudero, P., Zaragoza, C. (2003). The Mental Health for Immigrants Project: Program design and participatory research in the real world. In: M.D. Weist, S. Evans, N. Lever (Eds) Handbook of School Mental Health: Advancing Practice and Research. (pp. 179-190). New York: Kluwer Academic/ Plenum Publishers.


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