School changed, now what?

Cynthia Cassoni, Professor in Psychology at the University Anhembi Morumbi and São Camilo University Center, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Edna Maria Marturano, Full Professor at the Ribeirão Preto School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.

Image: Licenciado Pixabay

The article “School context in the transition from the early years to the final years of Elementary Education”, published in the journal Estudos de Psicologia (Campinas, vol. 37), researchers from the University of São Paulo interviewed 379 public school students in a city in the interior of São Paulo, when they were in the 5th and 6th grades. All attended municipal schools in the 5th year. Part of the sample remained in the same school the following year, part was transferred to another municipal school and part was transferred to a state school, according to criteria of geographical proximity between schools. In the two data collections, the participants performed a performance evaluation and answered the Child Stress Scale, Social Skills Assessment System, Self-Concept Assessment Questionnaire and the Multidimensional Life Satisfaction Scale for Children. In the data analysis, which had the partnership of colleagues from the University of Porto and the State University of Rio de Janeiro, three groups were formed, respectively with the children who in the 6th year remained in the same municipal school (n = 75), moved to another municipal school (n = 100) or moved to a state school (n = 204).

The results indicated that between the 5th and the 6th year there was a decrease in social skills, general school self-concept and satisfaction with school, in all groups. The transition seems to have affected the satisfaction with school more intensely in children who changed schools, as they showed greater loss of satisfaction. Madjar and Cohen-Malayev (2016) found a similar result investigating the perception of the school climate. Evidence was found that, even before taking effect, the transition affects students differently, since in the 5th year, children expecting to be transferred to a municipal school had a higher self-concept and greater satisfaction with life, whereas those intended for state schools reported more symptoms of stress; the first ones presented after the transition the biggest decreases in dimensions of the self-concept.

For researchers at the University of São Paulo (USP), the effects of this transition, as perceived by the children themselves, taking into account the additional demand for changing schools, can be understood from an ecological perspective (BRONFENBRENNER; MORRIS, 1998). Thus, the article discusses the ecology of schools of origin and destination as an inseparable condition of the change of school factor, in the interpretation of the observed differential effects.

The study is innovative in the sense of overcoming the dominant paradigm in empirical research on school transitions as specific events that affect the student’s later functioning; he advances by demonstrating, at the level of fundamental education, that this transition is a long-term process, sensitive to concrete contextual conditions, associated with the experience of changing schools, conditions that present themselves as conditions for expectations in the 5th year or as new adaptive demands in the 6th year.

Now watch Professor Cynthia Cassoni’s comment on the impact of changing schools:


BRONFENBRENNER, U. and MORRIS, P. A. The ecology of development processes. In: LERNER, R. M. (Ed.). Handbook of child psychology: theoretical models of human development (vol. 1, pp. 993-1027). New York: Wiley, 1998.

MADJAR, N. and COHEN-MALAYEV, M. Perceived school climate across the transition from elementary to middle school. School Psychology Quarterly [online], 2016. vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 270-288, e-ISSN: 1939-1560 [viewed 8 April 2020]. DOI: 10.1037/spq0000129. Avaliable from:

To read the article, access

CASSONI, C., et al. School context in the transition from the early years to the final years of Elementary Education. Estud. psicol. (Campinas) [online]. 2020, vol. 37, e190049, ISSN 0103-166X [viewed 28 April 2020]. DOI: 10.1590/1982-0275202037e190049. Available from:

External links

Estudos de Psicologia (Campinas) – ESTPSI:

About the authors

Cynthia Cassoni, psychologist, professor, postdoctoral fellow at Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro (2020). Working mainly in the field of developmental psychology with an emphasis on intervention in school development and behavior problems in different contexts. More than 20 years in psychological attendance and guidance for parents (parenting styles and educational practices).

Edna Maria Marturano, psychologist, full professor at Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of Sao Paulo. With experience in the areas of Developmental Psychology and Treatment and Psychological Prevention, working mainly with risk factors and protection of child development.


Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

CASSONI, C. and MARTURANO, E. M. School changed, now what? [online]. SciELO in Perspective: Humanities, 2020 [viewed ]. Available from:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation