Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Dr. Robyne Elder

Second Advisor

Dr. Kevin Winslow

Third Advisor

Dr. Vanessa VanderGraaf


In a world where children are likely to experience early-life trauma, relationships matter, and trust is a key in forming healthy working relationships. Intentionally teaching adults and teachers how to evoke calmness in ourselves and breathe to handle negative situations, trusted educators can then teach children to do the same. It is important that educational leaders, and other stakeholders, explore what works best to help children overcome trauma and become resilient and productive adults. This study examined the relationship between social, emotional, and behavioral skills of students entering kindergarten who have been intentionally taught skills needed for resiliency by highly trained teachers, as incorporated into everyday activities, and students without this opportunity. The teachers who intentionally taught social/emotional skills to preschool-age children were trained in Conscious Discipline, a comprehensive classroom management program and a social-emotional curriculum based on current brain research, child development information, and developmentally appropriate practices.

This study’s main sample consisted of 126 students with identified delay(s) and an Individualized Education Program (IEP), who attended a preschool where these skills were intentionally taught, 71 neurotypical students who attended the same preschool, and a random sample of 70 students who did not attend the same preschool. The Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener (SAEBRS) assessed student skills from each sample category in social behavior, academic behavior, and emotional behavior. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) data and t-test statistical analyses appear to indicate children who have an opportunity to attend an early childhood program with teachers trained to implement a science-backed and research-based curriculum designed to teach strategies for improving self-regulation, resiliency, and peer interaction skills may not score statistically higher in all areas than their peer counterparts who have not attended such a program. However, there is enough evidence to indicate the benefit of attendance in such a program as overall scores generally reflected positive outcomes. The information indicated children who were intentionally taught how to deal with stress, whether that be traumatic stress caused by abuse or family dysfunction, or day-to-day stressors, will exhibit maladaptive behaviors to a lesser degree.


Copyright 2022, Christina Scrivner Huse

Included in

Education Commons