Screenings for Toxic Stress


KINDERGARTEN SCREENINGS


Last year we screened 262 kindergarteners for stress and compared the results with the teachers' ratings of their behavior in the classroom.


45% reported severe physical punishment

36% reported strong worries about other family members

35% reported divorce or separation of the parents

14% reported some form of neglect or emotional abuse

  9% reported gun violence in the neighborhood

  8% reported the incarceration of a parent


90% of these kindergarteners reported high levels of stress, however fully 47% of these showed no symptoms or negative behaviors in the classroom as rated by the teachers!


They are holding on.....for how long?


These are the kids who will become distressed tomorrow, or next month, or next year.  These are the kids that ALIVE is aiming to identify and serve, TODAY!

HIGH SCHOOL SCREENINGS


In two high schools, we screened for stress among 465 students with a questionnaire and found that:


45% experienced emotional abuse

32% experienced violence in the home

27% experienced physical abuse

26% had had a family member die by violence

24% had had a family member die of disease

  8% experienced sexual abuse


74% reported that these experiences significantly interfered with their ability to do schoolwork.


On average, each student reported nearly 4 psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and anger.


When given the opportunity to respond anonymously, most did not.  Asked why, one student commented: "If you don't know my name, how are you going to help me?"  There were no differences in reporting between students who remained anonymous and those that revealed their names!

WEEKLY SCREENINGS

In the high schools, we also screen for toxic stress and traumatic events weekly, by having one of our specialists stand next to a large poster of Miss Kendra's List as all students go past, either in the morning when they come to school, or at lunchtime.

If the specialist sees any sign from a student, they follow up with them within the hour to ask them what is happening.

Students learn quickly that the school is SERIOUS about their safety and level of distraction.
Animating Learning by Integrating and Validating Experience (ALIVE), 19 Edwards Street, New Haven, CT 06511          Ph: 203-624-2146