Interpreting the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Bridging Psychological and Sociological Perspectives
Recently, sociologists and psychologists have been investigating the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet much of the social science literature regarding COVID-19 remains partial towards either the sociological or psychological perspective. To mitigate the effects of stigma and guilt, a holistic perspective that integrates sociological and psychological viewpoints needs development.
The purpose of this article is to synthesize evidence on the social and psychological implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, the author focuses on two key themes, stigma and guilt. The concept of guilt is emphasized by the psychological literature, while, on the other hand, the concept of stigma exists both in sociology and psychology, but tends towards sociological interpretations given its historical origin. Overall, the presence of stigma and excessive guilt are associated with decreased social compliance and increased mortality due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The author argues that social practices that focus on inclusiveness and preparedness towards mitigating the effects of stigma and guilt—while also complying with public health measures—are crucial for social compliance and increasing societal well-being.
- Fauci AS, Lane HC, Redfield RR. Covid-19—navigating the uncharted.
- World Health Organization Declares COVID-19-a ‘Pandemic.’ Here’s What That Means. Time [Internet]. 2010 March 11 [cited 2021 April 20]. Available from: https://time.com/5791661/who-coronavirus-pandemic-declaration/
- WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020 [Internet]. Who.int. [cited 2021 May 17]. Available from: https://www.who.int/director-general/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---11-march-2020
- Grady D. Fauci warns that the Coronavirus pandemic is far from over. The New York times [Internet]. 2020 Jun 9 [cited 2021 May 17]; Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/09/health/fauci-vaccines-coronavirus.html
- Coronavirus: Half of humanity now on lockdown as 90 countries call for confinement. Euronews [Internet]. 2020 April 3 [cited 2021 April 20]. Available from: https://www.euronews.com/2020/04/02/coronavirus-in-europe-spain-s-death-toll-hits-10-000-after-record-950-new-deaths-in-24-hou
- COVID-19 advice - Physical distancing [Internet]. Who.int. [cited 2021 May 18]. Available from: https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/covid-19/information/physical-distancing
- Binns C, Low WY. The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Poorer: The Inequality of COVID-19. Asia-pacific Journal of Public Health. 2021 Mar 24. https://doi.org/10.1177/10105395211001662
- Seymour-Walsh AE, Bell A, Weber A, Smith T. Adapting to a new reality: COVID-19 coronavirus and online education in the health professions. Rural and Remote Health. 2020 May 26;20(2):6000-
- Saladino V, Algeri D, Auriemma V. The psychological and social impact of Covid-19: new perspectives of well-being. Frontiers in psychology. 2020 Oct 2. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.577684
- Tangney JP, Fischer KW. Self-conscious emotions: The psychology of shame, guilt, embarrassment, and pride. In The idea for this volume grew out of 2 pivotal conferences. The 1st conference, on emotion and cognition in development, was held in Winter Park, CO, Sum 1985. The 2nd conference, on shame and other self-conscious emotions, was held in Asilomar, CA, Dec 1988. 1995. Guilford Press.
- Goffman E. Stigma: Notes on the management of spoiled identity. Simon and Schuster; 2009 Nov 24.
- Baumeister RF, Stillwell AM, Heatherton TF. Guilt: an interpersonal approach. Psychological bulletin. 1994 Mar. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.115.2.243
- Becker HS. Outsiders. Simon and Schuster; 2008 Jun 30.
- Jones EE. Social stigma: The psychology of marked relationships. WH Freeman; 1984 Mar.
- Goffman E. The presentation of self in everyday life. London: Harmondsworth; 1978.
- Rosenberg CE. What is an epidemic? AIDS in historical perspective. Daedalus. 1989 Apr 1:1-7.
- Bloom SW. The doctor and his patient: a sociological interpretation.
- Sontag S. Illness as metaphor and AIDS and its metaphors. Macmillan; 2001 Aug 25.
- Bhanot D, Singh T, Verma SK, Sharad S. Stigma and discrimination during COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in public health. 2021:829.
- Das M. Social construction of stigma and its implications–observations from COVID-19. https://doi.org/ 10.2139/ssrn.3599764
- Adja KY, Golinelli D, Lenzi J, Fantini MP, Wu E. Pandemics and social stigma: Who's next? Italy's experience with COVID-19. Public health. 2020 Aug 1. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.puhe.2020.05.054
- Noel TK. Conflating culture with COVID-19: Xenophobic repercussions of a global pandemic. Social Sciences & Humanities Open. 2020 Jan 1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssaho.2020.100044
- O’Brien ML, Eger MA. Suppression, Spikes, and Stigma: How COVID-19 Will Shape International Migration and Hostilities toward It. International Migration Review. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1177/0197918320968754
- Raghunath N, Tan T. The impact of social stratification on morbidity during the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. 2020 Sep 16. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-07-2020-0261
- Joshi B, Swarnakar P. Staying away, staying alive: Exploring risk and stigma of COVID-19 in the context of beliefs, actors and hierarchies in India. Current Sociology. 2021 Feb. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011392121990023
- Ellis-Petersen H, Rahman SA. Indian doctors being evicted from homes over coronavirus fears. The guardian [Internet]. 2020 Mar 30 [cited 2021 Apr 28]; Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/30/indian-doctors-being-evicted-from-homes-over-coronavirus-fears
- Corpuz JC. ‘We are not the virus’: stigmatization and discrimination against frontline health workers. Journal of public health (Oxford, England). 2021 Feb 26.
- Mostafa A, Sabry W, Mostafa NS. COVID-19-related stigmatization among a sample of Egyptian healthcare workers. PloS one. 2020 Dec 18;15(12):e0244172. https://doi.org/ 10.1093/pubmed/fdab031
- Bagcchi S. Stigma during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lancet. Infectious Diseases. 2020 Jul;20(7):782. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30498-9
- Turner-Musa J, Ajayi O, Kemp L. Examining social determinants of health, stigma, and COVID-19 disparities. InHealthcare 2020 Jun (Vol. 8, No. 2, p. 168). Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute. https://doi.org/ 10.3390/healthcare8020168
- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Together, we are powerful. Our greatest enemy right now is not the #coronavirus itself. It’s fear, rumours and stigma. And our greatest assets are facts, reason and solidarity. #COVID19 [Internet]. 2020 Feb 28 [cited 2021 Jun 6]; Available from: https://twitter.com/DrTedros/status/1233445856428331009
- Pfefferbaum B, North CS. Mental health and the Covid-19 pandemic. New England Journal of Medicine. 2020 Aug 6;383(6):510-2. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp2008017
- Brooks SK, Webster RK, Smith LE, Woodland L, Wessely S, Greenberg N, Rubin GJ. The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence. The lancet. 2020 Mar 14;395(10227):912-20. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30460-8
- Misra S, Le PD, Goldmann E, Yang LH. Psychological impact of anti-Asian stigma due to the COVID-19 pandemic: A call for research, practice, and policy responses. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. 2020 Jun 11. https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000821
- Cheah CS, Wang C, Ren H, Zong X, Cho HS, Xue X. COVID-19 racism and mental health in Chinese American families. Pediatrics. 2020 Nov 1;146(5).
- Giorgi G, Lecca LI, Alessio F, Finstad GL, Bondanini G, Lulli LG, Arcangeli G, Mucci N. COVID-19-related mental health effects in the workplace: a narrative review. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2020 Jan;17(21):7857. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217857
- Cabarkapa S, Nadjidai SE, Murgier J, Ng CH. The psychological impact of COVID-19 and other viral epidemics on frontline healthcare workers and ways to address it: A rapid systematic review. Brain, behavior, & immunity-health. 2020 Sep 17:100144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbih.2020.100144
- Zandifar A, Badrfam R, Khonsari NM, Mohammadi MR, Asayesh H, Qorbani M. Prevalence and associated factors of posttraumatic stress symptoms and stigma among health care workers in contact with COVID-19 patients. Iranian journal of psychiatry. 2020 Oct;15(4):340. https://doi.org/ 10.18502/ijps.v15i4.4303
- Galbraith N, Boyda D, McFeeters D, Hassan T. The mental health of doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic. BJPsych bulletin. 2021 Apr;45(2):93-7. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjb.2020.44
- Thakur V, Jain A. COVID 2019-suicides: A global psychological pandemic. Brain, behavior, and immunity. 2020 Aug 1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2020.04.062
- Bhattacharya P, Banerjee D, Rao TS. The “untold” side of COVID-19: Social stigma and its consequences in India. Indian journal of psychological medicine. 2020 Jul;42(4):382-6. https://doi.org/10.1177/0253717620935578
- Soltani A, Peyravi M, Taghrir MH, Ahmadi M, Dehbozorgi M, Pour FJ, Rezaee R, Marzaleh MA. Prevention of adverse psychological effects and social stigma during COVID-19 pandemic: Solutions. EXCLI journal. 2021;20:297. https://doi.org/ 10.17179/excli2021-3414
- Ghebreyesus TA. Addressing mental health needs: an integral part of COVID‐19 response. World Psychiatry. 2020 Jun;19(2):129. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20768
- Kathirvel N. Post COVID-19 pandemic mental health challenges. Asian journal of psychiatry. 2020 Oct 1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2020.102430
- Gilbert P. Evolution, social roles, and the differences in shame and guilt. Social Research: An International Quarterly. 2003;70(4):1205-30.
- Hazard P. Freud's teaching on shame. Laval théologique et philosophique. 1969;25(2):234-67.
- MacLean PD. Brain evolution relating to family, play, and the separation call. Archives of general psychiatry. 1985 Apr 1;42(4):405-17. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790270095011
- Eisenberg N. Empathy-related emotional responses, altruism, and their socialization. Visions of compassion: Western scientists and Tibetan Buddhists examine human nature. 2002;135:131-64. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-2409.2010.01020.x
- Durkheim E. The division of labor in society. Simon and Schuster; 2014 Feb 25.
- Garcia D, Rimé B. Collective emotions and social resilience in the digital traces after a terrorist attack. Psychological science. 2019 Apr;30(4):617-28. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619831964
- Von Scheve C, Ismer S. Towards a theory of collective emotions. Emotion review. 2013 Oct;5(4):406-13. https://doi.org/10.1177/1754073913484170
- Xu H, Bègue L, Shankland R. Guilt and guiltlessness: an integrative review. Social and Personality Psychology Compass. 2011 Jul;5(7):440-57. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2011.00364.x
- Jacobo J. College students celebrating spring break despite continuation of COVID-19 pandemic [Internet]. ABC News. 2021 [cited 2021 May 7]. Available from: https://abcnews.go.com/US/college-students-celebrating-spring-break-continuation-covid-19/story?id=76450333
- Gollwitzer A, Martel C, Brady WJ, Pärnamets P, Freedman IG, Knowles ED, Van Bavel JJ. Partisan differences in physical distancing are linked to health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nature human behaviour. 2020 Nov;4(11):1186-97. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-00977-7
- Rawlings CM. Cognitive Authority and the Constraint of Attitude Change in Groups. American Sociological Review. 2020 Dec;85(6):992-1021. https://doi.org/10.1177/0003122420967305
- Islam MS, Sarkar T, Khan SH, Kamal AH, Hasan SM, Kabir A, Yeasmin D, Islam MA, Chowdhury KI, Anwar KS, Chughtai AA. COVID-19–related infodemic and its impact on public health: A global social media analysis. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2020 Oct;103(4):1621. https://doi.org/ 10.4269/ajtmh.20-0812
- Sun Y, Oktavianus J, Wang S, Lu F. The Role of Influence of Presumed Influence and Anticipated Guilt in Evoking Social Correction of COVID-19 Misinformation. Health Communication. 2021 Feb 20:1-0. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2021.1888452
- Travaglino GA, Moon C. Compliance and Self-Reporting During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Cultural Study of Trust and Self-Conscious Emotions in the United States, Italy, and South Korea. Frontiers in Psychology. 2021 Mar 16;12:684. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.565845
- Sahoo S, Mehra A, Suri V, Malhotra P, Yaddanapudi LN, Puri GD, Grover S. Lived experiences of the corona survivors (patients admitted in COVID wards): A narrative real-life documented summaries of internalized guilt, shame, stigma, anger. Asian journal of psychiatry. 2020 Oct 1;53:102187. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2020.102187
- Tribune India. Anxiety over COVID-19 leads to Phagwara woman’s suicide [Internet]. The Tribune India. 2020 [cited 2021 May 8]. Available from: https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/anxiety-over-covid-19-leads-to-phagwara-womans-suicide-66466
- Cavalera C. COVID-19 Psychological Implications: The Role of Shame and Guilt. Frontiers in Psychology. 2020;11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.571828
- Goveas JS, Shear MK. Grief and the COVID-19 pandemic in older adults. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 2020 Oct 1;28(10):1119-25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jagp.2020.06.021
- Saalmink G, Iles-Smith HM. Can survivors of COVID-19 later experience guilt?. Cancer Nursing Practice. 2020 Sep 7;19(5):12-3. https://doi.org/10.7748/cnp.19.5.12.s9
- Reuben DB. Sideline Guilt. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2020 Sep 1;180(9):1150-1. https://doi.org/ 10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.2746
- Ho CS, Chee CY, Ho RC. Mental health strategies to combat the psychological impact of COVID-19 beyond paranoia and panic. Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2020 Mar 16;49(1):1-3.
- Serafini G, Parmigiani B, Amerio A, Aguglia A, Sher L, Amore M. The psychological impact of COVID-19 on the mental health in the general population. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine. 2020 Aug 1;113(8):531-7.
Download data is not yet available.
You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.