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Vulnerable Children and Youth: The Psychology of Social Development Innovative Approaches

  • Silvia Helena Koller
Chapter

Abstract

My best research ideas came up when I was cooking dinner. It was on a black bean pot that I first thought of the Center for the Studies on At-risk Populations (CEP-RUA), still as a seed of my research, with the possibility of training psychologists to work in the context of people’s development, and to have real outreach that could make sense in the lives of people. Nothing can combine well than by practicing a good theory in the execution of a striking bean casserole, with the thoughts floating in ideas about science. Moreover, cooking is a way to love and to do applied research is to show love for the work that is being done. CEP-RUA translates my most important career path and my best ideas over the years have been inspired by Sunday meals with my team around my kitchen table. Smoothly, CEP-RUA has become a reference in research on street children, girls and boys victims of violence and prejudice, and people of various ages who had their rights violated. Several other themes have covered CEP-RUA’s years of work, in which theoretical, methodological, and ethical concerns have been developed that embrace the contexts and the people we work with. Studies were carried out on human development in its various ecological contexts, on positive aspects, well-being, and health. We proposed and implemented the bioecological engagement method and varied other processes of evaluation of the interventions and psychometric measures. This chapter describes this progression of almost 30 years of our team’s studies on translational research on vulnerable children, adolescents and families, applying research to social policy and intervention. And at my kitchen table all this time, I have been with many colleagues from around the world, sharing black beans soup—feijoada—and showing them the excellent research that is being done in Brazil.

Keywords

Social development Brazil Children Adolescent Social policy Translational research; methodology Bioecological theory Bioecological engagement 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Helena Koller
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychology InstituteFederal University of Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.North-West UniversityVanderbijlparkSouth Africa

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