Research Topic

Contextualising Psychological Assessment in Africa: COVID-19 and beyond

About this Research Topic

Psychological assessment in Africa, like the science of psychology, arrived on the shores of Africa with colonialism. Being a colonial import, it is riddled with challenges ranging from poor fit, lack of norms and validations studies, and lack of local initiatives to develop African-centred assessment tools. In spite of existing challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic has also revolutionized assessment practices which has led to an increase in virtual assessments as part of teletherapy and assessments in other settings. These deficits and advancement require adjustments on the part of both the psychologist and the assessee. Therefore, there is a growing need for African-based researchers and practitioners to generate new tools, validate existing ones, and adapt to the current knowledge base to facilitate their research and practice agenda amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is important to generate and administer context-appropriate measures to assess mental health and well-being and other psychological constructs of individuals, groups, and communities. However, presently, the majority of psychological assessment tools being used in most African countries originated from Western countries, were developed from Western perspectives, standardized with predominantly Western samples, and assumed individualistic cultural orientation and value systems. As a result, this calls for efforts at generating new tools, validating existing ones, and adapting the practices of assessment. Inasmuch as there is a need to do the aforementioned, African psychologists need to explore patterns and practices elsewhere that can be adapted to support the contextualization of psychological assessment on the continent. Thus, African psychologists may be required to learn lessons from other continents regarding how other psychologists are managing psychological assessment during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as how they are contextualizing assessment tools.

This Research Topic focuses on how researchers and practitioners are dealing with assessment and are contextualizing assessment practices in the African context. In addition, the collection seeks to explore practices elsewhere to inform and support the contextualization of psychological assessment on the continent. Thus, it seeks to provide evidence of how African psychologists are negotiating the myriad of influences on the practice – local, national, and international influences on the practice of psychological assessment such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This call for papers is open to considering reports of original research, systematic reviews, and comprehensive narrative reviews. The comprehensive narrative reviews should be based on the current empirical evidence and prevailing practices.


Keywords: Testing, Assessment, Context-specific testing, COVID-19, Cultural relevance


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Psychological assessment in Africa, like the science of psychology, arrived on the shores of Africa with colonialism. Being a colonial import, it is riddled with challenges ranging from poor fit, lack of norms and validations studies, and lack of local initiatives to develop African-centred assessment tools. In spite of existing challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic has also revolutionized assessment practices which has led to an increase in virtual assessments as part of teletherapy and assessments in other settings. These deficits and advancement require adjustments on the part of both the psychologist and the assessee. Therefore, there is a growing need for African-based researchers and practitioners to generate new tools, validate existing ones, and adapt to the current knowledge base to facilitate their research and practice agenda amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is important to generate and administer context-appropriate measures to assess mental health and well-being and other psychological constructs of individuals, groups, and communities. However, presently, the majority of psychological assessment tools being used in most African countries originated from Western countries, were developed from Western perspectives, standardized with predominantly Western samples, and assumed individualistic cultural orientation and value systems. As a result, this calls for efforts at generating new tools, validating existing ones, and adapting the practices of assessment. Inasmuch as there is a need to do the aforementioned, African psychologists need to explore patterns and practices elsewhere that can be adapted to support the contextualization of psychological assessment on the continent. Thus, African psychologists may be required to learn lessons from other continents regarding how other psychologists are managing psychological assessment during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as how they are contextualizing assessment tools.

This Research Topic focuses on how researchers and practitioners are dealing with assessment and are contextualizing assessment practices in the African context. In addition, the collection seeks to explore practices elsewhere to inform and support the contextualization of psychological assessment on the continent. Thus, it seeks to provide evidence of how African psychologists are negotiating the myriad of influences on the practice – local, national, and international influences on the practice of psychological assessment such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This call for papers is open to considering reports of original research, systematic reviews, and comprehensive narrative reviews. The comprehensive narrative reviews should be based on the current empirical evidence and prevailing practices.


Keywords: Testing, Assessment, Context-specific testing, COVID-19, Cultural relevance


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

14 January 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

14 January 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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