Trauma's not just personal: an examination of trauma through multiple ecological perspectives
Trauma is a public health epidemic. Adverse Childhood Experiences are extremely common throughout the general population and trauma incident reports jump from 25% to 80% when comparing the general population to the I/DD community. Trauma is also common throughout many different provider populations, including the helping professions. However, there has not been much research outside of child welfare and social workers. This study examined the expression of trauma on the individual and organizational levels and how that impacted the I/DD system. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine how trauma expresses itself at the individual and organizational level of persons and systems that interact and work with persons with Intellectual and Developmentally Disabilities (I/DD). It is also intended to examine if and/ or how trauma impacts the I/DD system as a whole. A review of persons with I/DD’s records was conducted as well as focus groups with parents/ guardians, and providers, and an organizational assessment using the ProQoL. To provide context, interviews with the researchers who conducted the original studies were also conducted. Concurring with previous research, there was a high rate of trauma present in persons with I/DD and also within the I/DD providers. An unexpected finding was that the I/DD system impacted both persons with I/DD, parents/ guardians, and providers within the system. Results were consistent with the limited previous research on the I/DD community. Future research should further examine the impact trauma has on the IDD community and determine system-wide changes to reduce that trauma that is occurring.
Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology