Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Community Psychology

First Advisor

Joffrey Suprina, PhD

Second Advisor

Linda Thompson, PhD


Trauma can occur at any age and occurs as a result of an individual experiencing or witnessing an event that threatens or has the potential to threaten their life, well-being, or psychological state of mind. The type, duration, and effect of the trauma varied per person and experiences were shared that had negative effects that could last for the duration of their lifetime. The identification of specific risk factors may help in the development of specialized treatment options that may provide an individual with a greater chance of learning skills that could teach them how to deal with the effects of their trauma. The purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological research was to explore childhood exposure to trauma and subsequent criminal offending by adults who have experienced childhood trauma. This study was conducted with 18 participants through one-on-one semi-structured interviews that explored the perceived lived experiences, understandings, and feelings of the participants as it related to their childhood traumatic experiences. The data revealed that many participants endured a traumatic experience(s) that included abuse, drug and/or alcohol abuse, violence, and unhealthy family structure; and over half of them reported that they did not receive tools or skills to positively cope with the trauma that was experienced. Based upon the results of this study, recommendations for further research include conducting a quantitative study, a study on offenders in the juvenile justice system, and a long-term study on the effectiveness of treatment that is received.

Taneshia Signature Page .pdf (255 kB)
Taneshia Sims Dissertation Completed.pdf (2719 kB)
Complete Document with Signature Page Inserted