Kimberly Nolan


Jane Lohmann, David R. Heimbecker

Date of Award


Date Accepted


Degree Grantor

Northeastern University

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department or Academic Unit

College of Professional Studies, School of Education


education, educational psychology, brain-based interventions, neuropsychology, post- traumatic stress disorder, trauma sensitive schools


Education | Educational Psychology


Throughout the country, school districts are dealing with the increase in violence, bullying, and/ or crimes in our schools. In attempt to make schools safer, zero tolerance policies were established and enacted. Suspension and expulsion policies operate on the supposition that the removal of disruptive students will bring order to the school environment. Ultimately, these measures have had devastating repercussions for students diagnosed with social-emotional and behavioral disabilities. Reactionary policies have resulted in a significant increase in the number of in-house suspensions, suspensions and expulsions for these students. These reactionary measures, which only respond to incidents, have done little to prevent episodes from occurring.

This research explores the case of an eight-year-old elementary student, who is diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). After several unsuccessful school placements, the student now attends an alternative educational day program. The program offers a brain-based therapeutic component, which focuses on a preventative approach to behavioral intervention. This single-case quasi-experiment investigates if the implementation of positive visual imagery will result in improved behavioral outcomes. This quantitative single-case experiment examines and compares behavioral outcomes at baseline, during the implementation of positive visual imagery, and at return to baseline phases to determine if a positive effect is evident.

Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Rights Information

copyright 2012

Rights Holder

Carolyn McKearney

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