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Bounce Back: An Elementary School Intervention for Childhood Trauma


Delivery Approach:
  • Group
  • Individual
  • Dyadic
Delivery Format:
  • In-Person
Provider Requirements:
  • Licensed/Certified Professional Led
Type of Experience Addressed:
  • Child Abuse
  • Domestic Violence
  • Neglect
  • Verbal/Emotional Abuse
  • Community Violence
  • Homicide/Familicide
  • Natural Disasters
  • Grief/Bereavement
  • Family Separation
  • Homelessness
  • Mass Shootings
  • Criminal Victimization
  • Refugee/Immigration
  • Other types of experiences addressed (see Program Details)
Engagement Methods:
  • Somatic
  • Talk-Based
  • Experiential
  • Play-based
  • Other Engagement Methods (see Program Details)
Level of Intervention:
  • Intervention
  • Tertiary Prevention
  • Less than 12 weeks
  • School
Program Details:
Type of services provided:

Bounce Back is an adaptation of the Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program. Bounce Back is a cognitive-behavioral, skills-based group intervention for children exposed to traumatic events including domestic violence. In group sessions, children learn and practice identifying feelings, relaxation techniques, problem-solving and conflict resolution while building positive activities and social support. During individual sessions, children complete a trauma narrative that they can share with a parent/caregiver. Bounce Back includes up to three parent education sessions during which parents learn the skills that their children are learning.

Program setting:

Elementary schools

Length of program/number of sessions:

Weekly 45-60 minute group sessions plus two to three 45-60 minute individual sessions over 10 weeks

Type(s) of trauma/concerns addressed:

Bounce Back is most commonly used for children who have experienced or witnessed community, family or school violence, or who have been involved in natural disasters, or experienced traumatic separation from a loved one due to death, incarceration, deportation or child welfare detainment.

Symptoms addressed:

Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, stress, poor coping and problem-solving skills, poor academic performance due to poor attendance and inability to concentrate

Education level of providers:

Master’s -level mental health clinician

Additional information:


Unique/Innovative Characteristics:

Bounce Back is an adaptation of a well established and evaluated cognitive behavior therapy intervention in schools called CBITS. Adapted for elementary school age students, Bounce Back is designed to meet the needs of multicultural classrooms.

Date Added/Updated:


Population Served

  • 6-12 (Childhood)
Population Language:
  • English
  • Spanish
Ethnic Racial Group:
  • Asian
  • Black or African American
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • White
  • Child and Non-abusive Parent/Caregiver
  • Child 
  • Family
  • Survivor parent
Population Adaptations:
Age range of children served:

Ages 5-11 years old (kindergarten through 5th grade)

Are parent/adult caregiver(s) included in intervention?


Ethnic/racial and other groups served:

Bounce Back is designed to be used in schools with children from a variety of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

Specific cultural adaptations:

None indicated.

Languages that service/resource is available:

English, Spanish


Goals of the program/services:

• Reduce symptoms of PTSD, anxiety and depression
• Build skills to enhance resilience to stress
• Enhance students’ coping and problem-solving strategies
• Impact students’ academic performance by improving their attendance and ability to concentrate
• Build peer and caregiver support

Evaluation Studies:
Has there been any evaluation?


Key evaluation results:

Langley et al (2015) conducted a randomized controlled trial with a culturally diverse group of 1st through 5th graders. Compared to the delayed intervention group, children who received Bounce Back demonstrated significant improvements in parent- and child-reported posttraumatic stress and child-reported anxiety over the three month intervention. The immediate intervention group maintained or showed additional improvement at three month follow-up after the intervention was completed. The delayed intervention group demonstrated significant improvements in parent- and child-reported posttraumatic stress, depression and anxiety after receiving the Bounce Back intervention.

Is there an evaluation currently in progress or planned?

Replication study of evaluation by Langley et al, (2015) is in progress in another school district.

Publications about the program:

Langley AK, Gonzalez A, Sugar CA, Solis D, Jaycox L. Bounce Back: Effectiveness of an elementary school-based intervention for multicultural children exposed to traumatic events. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 2015;83(5):853-865.

Langley AK, Santiago CD, Rodriquez A, Zelaya J. Improving implementation of mental health services for trauma in multicultural elementary schools: Stakeholder perspectives on parent and educator engagement. Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research. 2013;40(3):247-262.

Rated/Reviewed by Evidence Based Registries:

SAMHSA’s National Evidence Based Practice Resource Center 
California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare
The National Traumatic Stress Network Treatments and Practices, Trauma Interventions 

Training & Resources

Training Language:
  • English
  • Spanish
Training Available:
  • Yes, in-person and on-line
Training Details:
Training manuals/protocols:


Training Contact:

None specified

Program Contact

Audra Langley, PhD
(310) 794-2460