KIHASA Publishes Research in Brief 2022-04: Traumatic Experiences among Young and Middle-aged Koreans

  • Date 2022-02-28
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KIHASA has published Research in Brief, 2022-04, "Traumatic Experiences among Young and Middle-aged Koreans." 

Korea’s suicide rate has over the years been the highest of all OECD countries. Suicide is related in a significant way to traumatic experiences, as has been established by numerous psychological autopsies which find that suicide deaths are committed as a direct consequence of certain events in life and that most suicide cases are associated with negative experiences in childhood. For all the headway made thus far in relevant laws and policies, however, suicide still remains a major cause of death in Korea. We as groups and individuals are exposed to various traumatic events which to a serious extent could affect not only our psycho-physical health but also the quality of our life. Korean society at large has experienced various calamities, from such environmental disasters as earthquakes and floods to social calamities like the Sewol ferry disaster, as well as the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. Individuals at some point or other in their lives may well experience a trauma. A trauma experienced in childhood, in particular, can be detrimental in the long-term to brain development or can have a damaging effect on mental health. Korean society has in its midst various types of trauma, many of them still left to be dealt with by individuals on their own. When it comes to victims of certain trauma types, such as domestic violence, sexual violence, crime and disaster, support is provided for by relevant ministries. In the health sector, the National Center for Disaster and Trauma provides services to people psychologically affected by disasters like the covid-19 pandemic. 

Korea’s policy on trauma is in an inchoate stage. In order to build a systematic support mechanism for those with traumatic experiences, it is important to attain an understanding of how pervasive trauma is among Koreans and of in what ways its impact leads to social problems. This study thus, as a first step toward helping people become resilient to traumatic events, examines the types and characteristics of traumic events from which Koreans often suffer.

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