COVID-19 PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS ON TWO DISTINCT VULNERABLE GROUPS: A QUALITATIVE RESEARCH ON PARENTS WITH SMALL CHILDREN AND CHRONICALLY ILL PEOPLE IN BULGARIA
- psychological effects,
- vulnerable groups,
- crisis management
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Copyright (c) 2023 Psychological Research (in the Balkans)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This article outlines the major psychological effects and responses that the COVID-19 pandemic evoked in two important, vulnerable groups within the Bulgarian society: parents with young children up to 12 years of age and people struggling with chronic illness(es). The experiences of 30 study participants, were captured via interviews, conducted between March 2020 - January 2022. They uncoover the psychological implications COVID-19 had on subjects and confirmed consistency with studies conducted in other countries around the globe. The main negative effects for the group of parents included 1/ stress, 2/ anxiety, and 3/ mood swings. The positive, on the other hand, involved 1/ improved and/or strengthened relationships, and 2/ mobilization of psychological resources. Similarly, the negative psychological effects for those, suffering from a chronic illness, were: 1/ increased levels of stress, 2/ heightened anxiety, and 3/ an acute sense of vulnerability, among others. The positive entailed 1/ elevated focus on personal sense of meaning and 2/ feelings of closeness with family members. The findings from an exploratory, qualitative study, using semi-structured, calendar interviews are shared, together with recommendations on future crisis management.
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