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Guest Editors: Samuel Y. Song, Cixin Wang, Dorothy L. Espelage, and Pamela A. Fenning
Initial Submission Deadline:  July 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on children, families, and schools in the United States. While almost all schools in the United States are closed and students participate in home-based online learning during this pandemic, students experience many challenges including disruption in academic learning, social isolation, economic recession, and greater screen time. Schools offer not only education services, but also many other services to students (such as food/nutrition, healthcare, cocurricular activities, and mental health services). The pandemic is likely to negatively impact youth mental health and social, emotional, psychological, and educational well-being (Golberstein, Wen, & Miller, 2020). The impact may be even greater for students with disabilities, and students from culturally and linguistically diverse families that are more severely influenced by COVID-19. In this time of crisis, school psychologists are well equipped to address the educational and psychological impacts of the pandemic in the schools they serve (e.g., with students, parents, teachers, school systems).

This special topic will focus on empirical work related to COVID-19 and school psychology. Papers may include, but not be limited to, the following topics:

  1. Social, emotional, psychological, and educational effects of the pandemic for children, families, and educators:
    • Psychological implications of social (physical) distancing, including extreme forms of social distancing such as sheltering in place, and coping with misinformation;
    • Risk and protective factors for school-age children and families during COVID-19 using empirical data;
    • The pandemic’s effects on academics, social–emotional development, well-being (e.g., adjustment to traumatic stress), and peer relations.
  2. Modifications to assessment, intervention, and other forms of service delivery supported with empirical data:
    • Empirical evidence on psychological assessment instruments’ reliability, validity, diagnostic utility, and equivalence to standardized method norms;
    • Impact of health and educational disparities on the effects of the pandemic and the advocacy efforts related to this relationship;
    • Social justice aspects of the pandemic (e.g., equitable access to education and e-learning, mental health services, other resources; discrimination and xenophobia);
    • Varying experiences of the pandemic related to socioeconomic status.
  3. Adaptations to support training and education in school psychology:
    • Learning how to engage in crisis-work during the pandemic;
    • Collaborating with other health professionals on the front lines (e.g., first responders, nurses,  physicians);
    • Challenges and innovations in telepsychology and other forms.

A variety of manuscript types are sought including, but not limited to: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods investigations; systematic research reviews; and data-based policy papers. Papers presenting empirical evidence and making unique contributions will be given priority. Each submission will be processed through peer-review to determine whether the manuscript is suitable for publication in the journal. Letters of interest or abstracts are optional, during June. The initial deadline for the receipt of submissions is July 15, 2020 (later submissions are welcome, will be considered in subsequent issues).

Depending upon the number of articles ultimately selected for publication, we will aim to feature the articles in special sections across multiple issues beginning December 2020. To meet the December 2020 publication deadline, action editors have committed to a 3-week turnaround and authors must commit to a 3-week turnaround for revisions. Manuscripts requiring more than two rounds of revisions will be published in 2021.

Email SPR Editor-Elect Shane Jimerson –

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