Background: In Thailand, there is a lack of studies investigating the assistance provided for children who are economically disadvantaged. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to develop assistance specifically designed for economically disadvantaged students (EDSs) which takes into account both psychological and social dimensions.

Methods: We utilized a design-based research (DBR) approach for a study with 33 participants. The key participants consisted of nine Thai EDSs, aged between 13 to 15 with trauma resulting from emotional abuse by parents. Non-key participants consisted of twenty-four parents, peers, and teachers. The design involved two iterations in the design cycle.

Results: The completed intervention design consisted of nine sessions. Sessions 1 to 3 were conducted individually. Sessions 4 to 8 involved collaboration with parents, peers, and teachers. Session 9 was the summarizing session. Following the intervention, participants demonstrated notable improvements in their levels of EDSs’ post-traumatic growth (PTG) and perceived social support (PSS).

Conclusion: The intervention fostered PTG and PSS among EDSs, thus demonstrating improved students’ mental health and well-being. In addition, this innovation added to the body of knowledge which fosters PTG and PSS among EDSs and integrates psychological counseling and social work.


[1] Bywaters P, Bunting L, Davidson G, Hanratty J, Mason W, McCarten C, et al. The relationship between poverty, child abuse and neglect: an evidence review [Electronic book]. West Midlands: Joseph Rowntree Foundation; 2016 [cited 2019 Jan 20]. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/295812966

[2] Farrell CA, Fleegler EW, Monuteaux MC, Wilson CR, Christian CW, Lee LK. Community Poverty and Child Abuse Fatalities in the United States. Pediatrics. 2017 May;139(5):e20161616. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-1616.

[3] Kilmer RP, Gil-Rivas V, Griese B, Hardy SJ, Hafstad GS, Alisic E. Posttraumatic growth in children and youth: clinical implications of an emerging research literature. Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2014 Sep;84(5):506-18. doi: 10.1037/ort0000016.

[4] Nakornthap A. Underprivileged children: Turning point for the future of the nation. Bangkok: ThaiHealth Promotion Foundation; 2014.

[5] Information system for equitable education. Household informations of economically disadvantaged students 2017-2019. [updated: 2019; cited 2022 January 10]. Available from: https://isee.eef.or.th/screen/pmt/cctall_housedata.html

[6] Dekel S, Hankin IT, Pratt JA, Hackler DR, Lanman, ON. Post-traumatic growth in trauma recollections of 9/11 survivors: A narrative approach. J Loss Trauma. 2016; 21(4): 315-324.

[7] Jirek SL. Narrative reconstruction and post-traumatic growth among trauma survivors: The importance of narrative in social work research and practice. Qual Soc Work. 2017; 16(2): 166-188.

[8] Kosenko K, Laboy J. "I survived": The content and forms of survival narratives. J Loss Trauma. 2014; 19(6): 497-513.

[9] Williston KS. Experiencing trauma can eventually result in positive personal changes. [updated: 2017 March 29; cited 2019 April 3]. Available from: https://www.anxiety.org/what-is-post-traumatic-growth-ptg

[10] Kaewkangwan S. Developmental psychology for all ages. 9th ed. Bangkok:Thammasatpress; 2010.

[11] Sakunpong N. Counseling Psychology and Social Justice Advocacy. TJBS. 2018; 24: 147–162.

[12] Walters H. The integration of social justice in counseling and counselor education [monograph on the internet]. Virginia: Regent University; 2010 [cited 2018 July 13]. Available from: https://search.proquest.com/docview/750173421/?pq-origsite=primo

[13] Borges AM. Psychologists’ experiences working with clients in poverty: A qualitative descriptive study [monograph on the internet]. Massachusetts: Boston College; 2014 [cited 2018 July 13]. Available from: https://dlib.bc.edu/islandora/object/bc-ir:103740

[14] Gonzalez HA. An examination of the relationship between practicing urban school counselors’ colorblind racial ideology and social justice factors such as supports, barriers, self- efficacy and outcome expectations, and social justice interest and commitment [monograph on the internet]. Maryland: University of Maryland; 2012 [cited 2018 July 14]. Available from: https://drum.lib.umd.edu/bitstream/handle/1903/13182/Gonzalez_umd_0117E_13466.pdf?seque nce=1

[15] East C, Powers D, Hyatt T, Wright S, May V. Counselor training and poverty-related competencies: implications and recommendations for counselor training programs. ideas and research you can use. Vistas. 2016; 1-19.

[16] Foss-Kelly LL, Generali MM, Kress VE. Counseling strategies for empowering people living in poverty: The I-CARE model. J Multicult Couns Devel. 2017; 45: 201-213.

[17] Gitterman A, Germain CB. The Life model of social work practice advances in theory and practice. 3rd ed. New York: Columbia University Press; 2008.

[18] Mckenney S, Reeves TC. Chapter 9 educational design research. In: Spector JM, Merrill MD, Elen J, Bishop MJ, editors. Handbook of research on educational communications technology. New York: Springer Verlag; 2013.

[19] Kennedy-Clark S. Reflection: research by design: design-based research and the higher degree research student. J Learn Des. 2015; 8(3): 106-122.

[20] Plomp T. Educational design research: an introduction. In: Plomp T, Nieveen N, editors. Educational design research part a: An introduction. the National Institute for Curriculum Development. Enschede: The Netherlands: SLO; 2013.

[21] Roth DH. Adult reflections on childhood verbal abuse [monograph on the internet]. Saskatoon: University of Saskatchewan; 2014 [cited 2019 Feb 8]. Available from: https://core.ac.uk/outputs/226145030

[22] Foa EB, Johnson KM, Feeny NC, Treadwell KR. The child PTSD Symptom Scale: a preliminary examination of its psychometric properties. J Clin Child Psychol. 2001 Sep;30(3):376-84. doi: 10.1207/S15374424JCCP3003_9

[23] Tedeschi RG, Calhoun LG. Post-traumatic growth: Conceptual foundations and empirical evidence. Psychol Inq. 2004; 15(1): 1-18.

[24] Gordon AT. Assessing social support in children: development and initial validation of the social support questionnaire for children [monograph on the internet]. Los Angeles: Louisiana State University; 2011 [cited 2019 March 30]. Available from: https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/gradschool_ dissertations/3529

[25]. Kanjanawasee S. Classical test theory. 6th ed. Bangkok: Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University; 2009.

[26]. Liamputtong P. Qualitative data analysis: conceptual and practical considerations. Health Promot J Austr. 2009 Aug;20(2):133-9. doi: 10.1071/he09133.

[27]. Benson K. Working towards a guided exploration approach: design-based research of a visual arts program in a preschool classroom [monograph on the internet]. New York: The State University of New York; 2018 [cited 2022 August 30]. Available from: https://www.proquest.com/ openview/e538 c9f8e590 ba0fd33f0a20ff754e09/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750

[28]. Cooper N. Design-based research as an informal learning model for choral conductors. Lond Rev Educ. 2017; 15(3): 358-371.

[29]. Siko JP, Barbour MK. Building a better mousetrap: How design-based research was used to improve homemade powerpoint games. TechTrends. 2016; 60: 419–424.

[30]. Waddell K. A design-based research study examining the impact of collaboration technology tools in mediating collaboration [monograph on the internet]. Michigan: Wayne State University; 2015 [cited 2022 June 14]. Available from: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2414 &context=oa_dissertations

[31]. Baumer EP, South SJ. Community effects on youth sexual activity. J Marriage Fam. 2001; 63(2): 540–554.

[32].Cubbin C, Brindis CD, Jain S, Santelli J, Braveman P. Neighborhood poverty, aspirations and expectations, and initiation of sex. J Adolesc Health. 2010 Oct;47(4):399-406. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.02.010.

[33]. Juma M, Alaii J, Bartholomew LK, Askew I, Van den Born B. Understanding orphan and non-orphan adolescents' sexual risks in the context of poverty: a qualitative study in Nyanza Province, Kenya. BMC Int Health Hum Rights. 2013 Jul 25;13:32. doi: 10.1186/1472-698X-13-32.

[34]. Thailand, Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council. Child multidimensional poverty in Thailand year 2021 [Electronic book]. Bangkok: Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council; 2021 [cited 2022 April 20]. Available from: https://www.nesdc.go.th/ ewt_dl_link.php?nid=11984

[35]. Hacney. Child Poverty. [updated: 2022 July 29; cited 2022 September 2]. Available from: https://hackney.gov.uk/cyps-needs-assessment.

[36]. Foss LL, Generali MM, Kress VE. Counseling people living in poverty: The CARE model. J Humanist Couns. 2011; (50): 161-171.

[37]. Hijazi AM, Lumley MA, Ziadni MS, Haddad L, Rapport LJ, Arnetz BB. Brief narrative exposure therapy for posttraumatic stress in Iraqi refugees: a preliminary randomized clinical trial. J Trauma Stress. 2014 Jun;27(3):314-22. doi: 10.1002/jts.21922.

[38]. Zieba M, Zatorski M, Boczkowska M, Gozdowska J, Kieszek R, Laskowski W. The affective tone of narration and post-traumatic growth in organ transplant recipients. Pol Psychol Bull. 2015; 46(3): 376-383.

[39]. Ingul L Poverty and maternal child maltreatment: The mediating roles of psychological distress and social support [monograph on the internet]. New York: Fordham University; 2010 [cited 2022 June 14]. Available from: https://search.proquest.com/docview/759082735

[40]. Turan GB, Aksoy M, Çiftçi B. Effect of social support on the treatment adherence of hypertension patients. J Vasc Nurs. 2019 Mar;37(1):46-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jvn.2018.10.005.

[41]. Barnes C, Nolan S. Professionals, friends, and confidants: After-school staff as social support to low-income parents. Child Youth Serv Rev. 2019; 98: 238-251.

[42]. Stormshak EA, Dishion TJ. An ecological approach to child and family clinical and counseling psychology. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev. 2002 Sep;5(3):197-215. doi: 10.1023/a:1019647131949

[43]. World Health Organization [WHO] and the United Nations Children’s Fund. Helping adolescents thrive toolkit: strategies to promote and protect adolescent mental health and reduce self-harm and other risk behaviours [Electronic book]. Geneva: World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); 2021 [cited 2022 Jan 20]. Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/341344

[44]. Rocha HB. Social work practices and the ecological sustainability of socially vulnerable communities. Sustainability. 2018; 10(5): 1-27.