Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

BreAnne A Danzi


This study evaluated the impact of community support, specifically the impact of a trauma-related community-led campaign, on high school youth following a school shooting. Adolescents are at risk for the adverse impacts of trauma exposure (Katsiyannis et al., 2018; Rajan et al., 2019; Heleniak et al., 2016; McDermott & Cobham, 2012; McLean et al., 2013; Schonfeld & Demaria, 2020). However, social support from one’s community has been found to protect against the psychological and functional consequences of exposure to trauma (Bal et al., 2003; Cheng et al., 2014; Derivois et al., 2014. The purpose of this study was to assess adolescent perceptions of helpfulness for a trauma-related community-led campaign, whether perceived helpfulness of the campaign was associated with psychological distress, and whether perceptions of community support influenced the relationship between perceptions of helpfulness for the campaign and psychological distress. Parent-report data from 37 parents of high school youth following a school shooting, who reported on their adolescent's mental health functioning and perceptions of community support, were evaluated. Results revealed a range of perceived helpfulness for various aspects of a trauma-related community-led campaign. Further, perceptions of helpfulness for the trauma-related community-led campaign were not associated with posttraumatic stress, depressive, and anxiety symptoms in these youth. Lastly, controlling for perceptions of community support did not influence the relationship between perceived helpfulness for the community-led campaign and posttraumatic stress, depressive, and anxiety symptoms in these youth. This study provides a starting point for understanding how community support is perceived by and influences the well-being of high school youth following a school shooting. Further research is needed to better understand how communities can support the well-being of survivors of school shootings.

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


Adolescent, Anxiety, Community support, Depression, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, School shooting

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota



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