Do community-related traumatic events affect academic outcomes among adolescents? Quasi-experimental evidence from the Sewol disaster in South Korea

Dirk Bethmann, Jae Il Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The sinking of the South Korean ferry Sewol in April 2014 claimed a total of 304 lives. Among the victims were 250 students from Dan-won High School in the city of Ansan and 11 of their teachers. For the residents of Ansan, the tragedy marked the beginning of widespread psychological distress and overwhelming grief. Exploiting the disaster’s quasi-experimental nature, we employ a difference-in-differences (DID) strategy to measure its impact on the academic performance of Ansan’s high school students in 5 major subjects. Using peers from Ansan’s neighboring cities as the control group, our results reveal that the disaster impaired performances particularly in mathematics and natural science, a finding that is more pronounced for female students. Our results highlight that it is of uttermost importance to provide comprehensive psychological support and interventions to traumatized students but also to the communities they live in to minimize adverse effects on educational attainment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDeath Studies
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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