Researching Public Law and Public Policy in the Public Interest

CLiME’s Trauma, Schools and Poverty Project (TSP)

UPDATE: Click here for information on the May 5, 2017 Conference

Beginning in the fall of 2015, CLiME’s Trauma, Schools and Poverty Project (TSP) is a multi-year effort to understand the relationships between structural inequality and the pervasive experience of complex psychological stress and trauma.  Psychological research has demonstrated the cumulative destructive effects caused by exposure to complex trauma—traumatic experiences linked to school and community violence, family separation as well as domestic abuse and neglect that are often repetitive, if not continuous—on children and adults, especially those living in low- and very low-income areas.  Additional medical and neurological research links these exposures to cognitive impairment and learning challenges, the “school-to-prison pipeline,” serious psychological and emotional disorders, hypertension, diabetes, substance abuse and shorter life expectancy. 

Working to understand these connections between environment and well-being for disparate populations in the Greater Newark region by focusing on the immediate psychological and educational needs of children in schools, we are collaborating with local researchers from psychology and social work who are conducting quantitative and qualitative study of trauma symptomatology.  Simultaneously, CLiME researchers are studying the law and policy implications of large numbers of undiagnosed and often untreated students struggling with trauma in order to understand the obligations for both intervention and prevention owed them by guardian institutions, such as public schools.  The recipient of a seed grant from the Rutgers University-Newark Chancellor’s Office in 2015, CLiME is now publishing the first round of its research while continuing its study of the many issues associated with this important subject.  In the spring of 2016, we launched the community engagement segment of the TSP project by co-sponsoring with the NJ State Attorney General’s Office a Roundtable on Trauma-Informed Care.  

We are proud to announce our growing TSP research team, with new members Dr. Alicia Lukashko, Moira Batista, Alexandra Margevich, and Emily Stein.

Watch for research updates, memoranda and opportunities to participate in further discussions later this year.