The practices of psychologists working in schools during COVID-19: a multi-country investigation

Andrea E. Reupert, Gary E. Schaffer, Alexa Von Hagen, Kelly Allen, Emily Berger, Gerhard Büttner, Elizabeth M. Power, Zoe Morris, Pascale Paradis, Amy K. Fisk, Dianne Summers, Gerald Wurf, Fiona May

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This exploratory study aimed to identify the ways psychologists working in schools supported students’ mental health during school closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey was developed to determine (a) how psychologists working in schools across the United States, Canada, Germany, and Australia supported students’ mental health during COVID-19, (b) how their services changed during COVID-19, and (c) potential differences between countries concerning difficulties supporting students’ mental health during this time. The survey was based on previous research and was subsequently piloted. Using convenience and snowball sampling, 938 participants (U.S. n = 665; Canada n = 48; Germany n = 140; Australia n = 85) completed the online survey. Overall, school psychology services across these four countries pivoted from psychoeducational assessments to virtual counseling, consultation, and the development/posting of online support directly to children or parents to use with their children. There was some variation between countries; during the pandemic, significantly more psychologists in Germany and Australia provided telehealth/telecounseling than those in the United States and Canada, and psychologists in Germany provided significantly more hardcopy material to support children than psychologists in other countries. There is a need to ensure psychologists have the appropriate technological skills to support school communities during periods of school closure, including, but not limited to, virtual counseling and the administration of psychoeducational assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalSchool Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • pandemic
  • mental health
  • remote learning

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