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Coquitlam school granted $20K to study COVID-19's psychological impact on students

Douglas College researchers hope to better understand the pandemic's toll on students' emotional and social health.
students wearing covid-19 masks
Douglas College has been granted $20,000 to study the sociological and psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students.

A Coquitlam post-secondary school is hoping to solve a COVID-19 mystery: How has the pandemic impacted the emotional, social and psychological health of students?

Douglas College has received a $20,000 grant for its researchers for the study, which is set to gather information and recommend solutions of how educational institutions can provide extra supports for students.

The money is funded by the iMPACTS Projects at McGill University (Montréal) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

"Voices of students and their experiences need to be heard, especially for marginalized groups during the pandemic who may need additional support and resources to navigate uncertainty and upheaval,” said Douglas College sociology professor Lisa Smith in a release.

Dubbed as Learning in Novel Times: Tracing the social impacts of COVID-19 on students, the survey will see hundreds of Lower Mainland post-secondary students interviewed about the pandemic.

This includes:

  • Online learning
  • Online sexual harassment
  • Cyberbullying
  • Social and psychological well-being

“We want to know if students are experiencing specific challenges during the pandemic," explained Rim Gacimi, lead student research assistant for Douglas College's study.

She's also an honours student in the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology program, and hopes the results can lead to preventative measures for future pandemic planning by schools and policymakers.

"Are they reporting higher levels of cyber sexual harassment due to their increased online social interactions? How are students adjusting emotionally and financially? Is general well-being related to harassment? And do these experiences differ based on gender, ethnic background and social class?"

Findings are scheduled to be published in spring 2023, according to a Douglas College release.

For more information, you can visit the post-secondary school's website.