Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Charity H. Garcia

Second Advisor

Michael Milmine

Third Advisor

Rhonda Tomenko



Communication sciences and disorders (CSD) graduate students may have trauma histories and may be ill-equipped to identify and manage trauma responses in clients. This mixed-methods study examined graduate student attitudes towards implementing trauma-informed educational practice (TIEP) methods and trauma-informed patient care.


The Attitudes Related to Trauma-Informed Care (ARTIC) Scale (Baker et al., 2016) quantitatively measured pretest/posttest changes in CSD graduate student attitudes towards use of trauma-informed care with clients. Participants (n=43) were assigned to non-equivalent experimental and control groups. Groups received the pre/posttest and either an immediate (experimental) or delayed (control) trauma-informed educational session. Twenty-one participants completed focus group interviews. Interviews were conducted following quantitative data analysis. A transcendental phenomenological approach was implemented.


ANCOVA comparisons between ARTIC-45 subtest variables when controlling for the pretest was not significant. However, according to effect size findings, student attitudes towards implementation and use of trauma-informed care (TIC) in clinical settings suggested moderate improvements in ARTIC-45 scores when comparing experimental and control groups. Five qualitative themes of (a) felt-safety, (b) application, (c) coping, (d) relationship development, and (e) felt-need emerged from focus group interviews.


Inclusion of TIEP into graduate CSD programming may support student mental health, confidence, clinical practicum performance, and efforts towards greater diversity, equity, and inclusion. This study represents an initial step toward understanding how graduate students who have had TIC training may be better equipped to meet the needs of current and future clients with trauma histories and their own self-care needs as health and human service providers.

Subject Area

Andrews University. School of Communication Sciences and Disorders--Students--Health and hygiene; Trauma centers; Wounds and injuries