Why we should train teachers on the impact of childhood trauma on classroom behaviour

Stephanie Little*, Rachel Maunder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview Articlepeer-review


Two inter-connected problems affecting the UK education system are the number of young people who have experienced early trauma which impacts on their well-being and classroom behaviour, and the number of teachers who leave the profession. In this paper we will discuss the link between childhood trauma and young people’s disruptive behaviour in the classroom and argue for the need for teachers to receive training on ‘attachment aware’ approaches to help them respond effectively. When considering the evidence for what therapeutically supports young people to move out of a pattern of trauma-influenced coping, there is scope for schools to play a systemic part in building positive interpersonal relationships. We will suggest that a fortuitous side effect of this is the evidence that it could be beneficial for adults in the education system to take an alternative approach, potentially acting as a buffer for professional burnout and aiding teacher retention.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational and Child Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Oct 2020


  • Childhood trama
  • Childhood abuse
  • Classroom behaviour
  • Teachers
  • Teacher training

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