Teaching M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Wickam, Molly


This literature review examines the background of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and the impact trauma has on adolescents’ ability to learn. Brain development, brain function, and ACEs’ impact on adolescent brains are also addressed in this review. Past research has shown that ACEs and the effect of trauma on adults are long-lasting, but more research has been conducted to understand the considerable impact trauma has on children and adolescents. Nationally, the NSCH study indicated that 45 percent of children from birth through age 17 have an ACE score of at least one as reported by a parent or guardian. The effects of trauma have been shown to contribute to significant cognitive deficiencies in adolescents and behavioral adaptations in students. Strategies and supports are considered and explained to help schools and teachers address the needs of learners who have experienced trauma.

Degree Name

Teaching M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis