Teaching M.A.

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Fox, Amy

Second Reader

Molly Wickam


Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) increase the likelihood of negative outcomes throughout life. ACEs are traumatic events that occur between ages 0-17 and can induce a toxic stress response negatively impacting brain development, body function, behavior, and academic performance. ACEs elevate the risk of decreased executive functioning, increased learning and behavioral difficulties, and lower school engagement, attendance, and academic performance. Childhood poverty increases the risk of ACE exposure and decreases resources that buffer the impact of toxic stress, increasing the likelihood of negative life outcomes. Improving academic outcomes for children in poverty requires educators to understand the impact of trauma on brain development, signs of trauma, and trauma-informed approaches to mitigate the impacts of trauma on student engagement, performance, and achievement.

Degree Name

Teaching M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis