Research project

School Professionals’ awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences Scale (SPACES)

This project aims at the development of a new scale, School Professionals’ awareness of ACEs Scale (SPACES)

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Start date

April 2021

A considerable volume of research has been dedicated to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and their effects on development and health.

Despite the different approaches employed in studying ACEs, ACEs prevalence among non-clinical school children is consistently high, exceeding in some cases 60% of children studied.

There is an effort for schools and school professionals to work towards becoming aces-sensitive/trauma-informed.

Against this background, there is a documented need for sound tools that can reliably inform about the level of school professional awareness on ACEs and can help assess their professional development, while also identifying areas of further development.

This project aims at the development of a new scale, School Professionals’ awareness of ACEs Scale (SPACES) designed to fill this gap.


Project lead(s)

Dr Alexia Barrable

External team members

Dr Anna K. Touloumakos

Anna studied education and psychology in

  • Greece (National and Kapoditrian University of Athens)
  • the USA (New York University, as a scholar of Stamatis Foundation)
  • the UK (the University of Oxford as a scholar of the State Scholarship Foundation and the ESRC)

Anna has experience with European and nationally-funded research projects.

Her post-doctoral research funded by the State Scholarship Foundation looked at language development of children from hard places -in institutional care.

Anna has focused her work on children from hard places, specifically adverse childhood experiences and the ways in which

  • we can understand and reframe children behaviour and difficulties by considering ACEs,
  • we can use evidence-based practices in class and beyond to mitigate the effects of ACEs and
  • we can support school professionals’ development and help them become more ACEs and trauma aware.

Anna teaches at Panteion University, Athens Greece.

Contact Anna

Dr Alexia Barrable

Alexia is a Lecturer in the School of Education and Social Work.

She works at the intersection of psychology and education, and in particular the effects of the human-nature interactions in educational settings and beyond.

For the last few years, she has been exploring how different experiences and pedagogical approaches can promote (or hinder) nature connection in children.

She is also interested in the promotion of mental health and wellbeing across the life span and in different populations, including autistic children and children who have experienced trauma, through interactions with the natural world. 

Contact Alexia

Related groups

Education and Society

Project type

Research project