PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY IN A FLUID PANDEMIC CONTEXT. MEASURING ACADEMIC WORRIES OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: INITIAL VALIDATION OF A SCALE
Keywords:Social Work students, academic concern, professional identity, Covid-19, fluid identity
The aim of the paper is to test the validity and highlight the psychometric properties of a scale about the academic worries of students in the pandemic context (Pandemic Academic Worries among University Students scale - PAWAUS scale), following a quantitative research study consisting of a self-administered questionnaire within a university in north-eastern Romania in May 2021. The sample comprised 282 undergraduate and master students in the Social Work field. The factor analysis performed shows an initial validity of the PAWAUS scale. Generally, the findings of this study indicate that the students adapted rapidly and (relatively) fluidly to the new context but reported worries related to their academic and professional path. The premise from which we started was the following: the Social Work students follow, in the pandemic context, a speciality where the combination of theoretical knowledge with practical skills even from the undergraduate period is essential, which may contribute to the formation of their professional identity. The second objective of the paper consisted of analysing the emotional impact of the pandemic among the Social Work students using a recently- developed tool – PEIS (Ballou et al., 2020). Through the specific analysis of the relationship between the two scales, we have identified that the worries of the Social Work students are influenced significantly by the emotional impact generated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
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