Research Stories

Trauma, Disaster Psychological Support, and The Influence of Coronavirus Disease 19(COVID-19) Pademic on Public's Psych

Traumatic Stress Center Research Team


  • Trauma, Disaster Psychological Support, and  The Influence of Coronavirus Disease 19(COVID-19) Pademic on Public's Psych
  • Trauma, Disaster Psychological Support, and  The Influence of Coronavirus Disease 19(COVID-19) Pademic on Public's Psych
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There is always a danger of potential disaster in our lives. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, and tsunami, as well as social disasters increasing as human civilization develops, are threatening our lives. Recently, we even have experienced a virus pandemic that we never imagined before. These disasters can cause material and economic damage such as loss of life, property, and job, as well as social and psychological dysfunction for the disaster victims by remaining as threatening events that shake up one’s life.

Since the research team led by Professor Dong Hun Lee of the Department of Education had conducted the R&D of the Ministry of Security and Public Administration from 2014 to 2016, the team has continuously made efforts to study the psychological and social effects of large-scale disasters on people and to establish national-level psychological support measures.

[1] ‘OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying‘(SSCI), August 9, 2020 “A Longitudinal Perspective on Bereaved Parent’s Changes in Life Experience” (Yewon Kim, DongHun Lee, HongJin Jeon)

  • • Individuals who experienced traumatic events may experience extreme psychological pain and fear, with losing their prediction and control of their own lives, especially a feeling of changes in themselves.

  • • According to the study, parents who lost their child to disasters not only experience more powerful and continuous grief and mental health difficulties than other kinds of loss experiences, but also may not recover from the negative effects of grief for a long time. The study suggests that psychological supports for victims of disasters need to be continued to the years beyond the early stages of the incidents.

[2] The Influence of Public's Fear, and Psycho-social Experiences during Coronavirus Disease 19(COVID-19) Pandemic on Depression, Anxiety in South Korea, The Korean Journal of Counseling and Psychotherapy 2020, 32(4), In Press, (Lee, DongHun, Kim, YeJin, Lee, DeokHee, Hwang HeeHun, Nam, Seulji, Kim, Ji Yun)

• The research team led by Prof. Lee, who published a paper titled <‘The Emotional Distress and Fear of Contagion Related to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome(MERS) on General Public in Korea’ (Dong Hun Lee, Ji-Yun Kim, Hyun-Suk Kang)> (in Korean Journal of Psychology: General in 2016), tried to examine the psychological and social effects of infectious social disasters such as coronavirus on the general public and find out the various causes of new infectious diseases affecting the public's negative psychological experiences.

• In this study, infectious diseases such as MERS, SARS, and Influenza A (H1N1) have continuously occurred in South Korea, but it is revealed that "technical disease control" and "emotional guard" should be combined to reduce fear, anxiety and depression of the general public. In addition, since it is impossible to prevent the influx of new infectious diseases and these diseases can occur again at any time, it is important to establish a national-level psychological support plan to cope with future infectious social disasters.


※ Reference

- Study on COVID-19

1. Donga

2. Yonhapnewstv

3. Maeil Business Newspaper

- Study on MERS


[Original Article: JoongAng Daily] suffering from panic due to stress of coronavirus ... ‘mental prevention’ desperately needed in Daegu


The Korea Herald