Date of Award

Fall 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Stephen Laws


This study is a mixed-method case study using a qualitative and quantitative study structure. The intent of this study was to measure the impact of neuroscience or brain-based social-emotional (SEL) skills and strategies on students who have been identified with disruptive behavior and/or trauma. The impact is evaluated through the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL framework of five competencies (CASEL, 2020). The SEL program used in this study was the Second Step program. There were 33 students who were in an intervention pull-out group. Eight teachers and eight parents participated in the study. Quantitative data were gathered from a 10-item questionnaire distributed to the parents and teachers. Qualitative data were gathered through one-on-one interviews with the classroom teachers. They were asked five open-ended questions. The findings of this study suggested the younger a student was when identified with disruptive behavior and/or trauma and received SEL intervention, the greater the likelihood of positive change in behavior. This study suggests that when students are given SEL tools and are able to practice them, they may learn to make better decisions which range from personal to collaborative situations. Students who exhibit SEL skills, may be able to attend better to instruction, which in turn may result in an increase in academic performance. With SEL skills and strategies, students may be able to understand their emotions and use the skills and strategies to make changes in how they react.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License