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Date of Award


Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Health Science

Faculty Mentor

Shana Cerny, OTD, OTR/L, BCP, TBRI Educator

Second Advisor

Misty Beair, Special Education Director, Early Learning Center Director


occupational therapy, pediatric, childhood trauma, ACEs, Nurture Group

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


The purpose of this occupational therapy doctoral capstone experience was to use Trust Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) Nurture Groups© to promote healthy social, emotional, and behavioral development in preschool children. This project utilized pretest-posttest assessment and process evaluation to measure project outcomes. The Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was utilized to measure children’s social, emotional, and behavioral skills prior to and following 10-week Nurture Group© intervention. A Nurture Group© process evaluation was created to measure teacher’s subjective viewpoints on the effectiveness and satisfaction of Nurture Group© activities and children’s social-emotional development. SDQ: The children demonstrated no statistically significant changes in social, emotional, and behavioral skill development following the 10-week Nurture Group© intervention. Thematic analysis was conducted to identify major themes of effectiveness and satisfaction of Nurture Group© based off the process evaluation. Positive major themes identified from the process evaluation which included increase in emotional identification, application of Nurture Group© rules/principles outside of group time, and early/continued implementation of Nurture Group©. The five objectives that were established for this 14-week doctoral capstone experience to accomplish program development were met. Occupational therapy’s expertise on social, emotional, and sensory components of activities along with their impact on behavior and performance, supports the profession’s role in creating a social-emotional skill development program with children.