Themes & topics

The theme of the conference is ‘From stress to trauma… And all the way back!’.

All children and youth face challenges, adversities and stressful events in everyday life. They may be confronted with conflicts, academic difficulties, or the challenge of entering a new peer group. All these events may cause stress. Stress is not necessarily negative; it is a normal, evolutionary way of preparing oneself for potentially threatening events. However, some events can put someone at risk of serious harm or can produce chronic stress, such as war, prolonged physical or sexual abuse, of serious, life-changing illness. And even then, we see that children and youth can bounce back from these difficult circumstances, showing resilience in the face of risk and even showing personal growth.

How do stressful and traumatizing experiences work? How can we understand differences in children’s reactions? How can we support children and youth in coping with stress and traumatic experiences? How can we build family and school resources to support youth’s resilience? What role can school psychologists play in all this? These are some of the questions that will be addressed during the conference.

Possible relevant topics are referred to below. They are grouped in themes which can be indicated as keywords during the submission process. In addition to submissions related to the conference theme, we welcome high-quality, innovative contributions on other topics that are relevant to the field of school psychology.

  • Child and adolescent vulnerabilities (e.g., chronic illness, neurodevelopmental disorders)
  • School-related stress (e.g., school burn-out, teacher stress, educational transitions)
  • Family-related stress (e.g., parent-child conflict)
  • Migration and social adversity (e.g., migration-related stress, growing up in poverty)
  • Trauma (e.g., maltreatment, war, traumatic refugee experiences)
  • Resilience and positive development (e.g., child or carer resilience, flourishing)
  • Teacher-child and peer relationships (e.g., teacher support, peer bullying)
  • Academic emotions and motivation (e.g., math or test anxiety, academic engagement)
  • Student diversity (e.g., socio-cultural diversity, special educational needs)
  • Mental health promotion and preventive interventions (e.g., mindfulness, stress prevention)
  • Trauma intervention; crisis intervention
  • Supporting psychosocial and cognitive development (e.g., executive functioning, social emotional learning)
  • Supporting schools and families (e.g., teacher training, parent consultation)
  • Challenges related to the pandemic
  • Other topics relevant to school psychology (e.g., assessment, facilitating home-school-community partnerships, professional issues)