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The work of school psychologists in response to COVID-19 pandemic: an intercultural study between Brazil and United States

Grant number: 20/13555-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2021
Effective date (End): April 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Human Development Psychology
Principal Investigator:Alex Sandro Gomes Pessoa
Grantee:Amanda Barbosa Ferrador
Host Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


With the outbreak of the disease caused by COVID-19 and the radical changes in the way of life resulting from the pandemic, the world population has been facing numerous difficulties. Consequently, public and private institutions had to change their routine and adapt the conventional processes of interaction and operation in a short period of time. International research has pointed out, for example, the psychosocial impacts on the lives of students, since indicators of social isolation and class suspension have been associated with levels of stress and anxiety. Undoubtedly, schools are essential institutions to mitigate the adverse effects of the pandemic, since they can carry out work directed to students, families and the community in general. Thus, it is understood that psychology professionals working in the context of education are of extreme importance. In view of this, the present study aims to evaluate how service interruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic have affected the role, functioning and daily operations of school psychologists, as well as to analyze what expectations and future actions are being planned for the resumption of activities. To this end, this empirical investigation will be based on a qualitative approach, with cross-cutting design, and will be conducted from an intercultural study involving the collection and analysis of data from the Brazilian and American reality (countries most affected by the pandemic). The participation of 30 psychology professionals who work in the context of education is foreseen, being 15 Brazilians and 15 Americans. The recruitment of possible participants will occur from the contact with education departments and private schools. Through digital meeting platforms, semi-structured interviews will be conducted with the professionals. The interviews will be recorded and the content will be transcribed in full, so that the data can be analyzed later through Thematic Analysis (TA). The research teams, both in Brazil and in the United States, will have access to the content collected in both countries, so that intercultural analysis is made possible. From this study, it is hoped to contribute to the identification of the intervention strategies of school psychologists at this time and how they can support the population in the face of this adverse context. It is also expected that, based on the analyses carried out, interventive and innovative strategies developed by psychology professionals can be shared in the contexts where the field research was conducted. (AU)

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