Study Document

Traumatic Stress in Age of COVID-19 Student Teacher Syllabus Article Review

Pages:9 (2722 words)




Document Type:Article Review


Article Review 1: COVID-19

Source: Horesh, D., & Brown, A. D. (2020). Traumatic stress in the age of COVID-19: A call to close critical gaps and adapt to new realities. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 12(4), 331-335.


This article focused on the recent global incapacitation in aspects of finance, transport, government, and other facets of general human existence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors, Horesh and Brown (2020), described the consequence of the pandemic as significantly inconvenient and transformative of the existing structures of organizations, social interaction, and governmental policies across the globe. The rate of transmission and fatality of the novel Coronavirus is also a major concern, especially in view of the apparent inadequacies of current medical knowledge and research at finding a lasting solution to the pandemic. All these escalations and uncertainties lend to increased mental stress for every person across the world. While it is not surprising that some individuals and organizations have employed a level of flexibility to circumvent the restrictions associated with the pandemic, there are others whose livelihood and entire existence are threatened by the situation. More affected are individuals with an existing mental health condition, who stand the risk of developing new stress-related mental issues or exacerbating existing ones. Humans are typically social beings and are not easily open to changing their convenient routine life. This balance has been altered, albeit in goodwill, through the imposition of lockdowns/shelter-in-place, wearing of nose masks, and limits to social gatherings. More particularly for religious individuals who had to find alternative means of experiencing the feeling of the congregation that is contingent on their practices. Overall, the need for a new and better way of coping with the crisis was identified by the authors (Horesh and Brown, 2020.), and this is further explored in the rest of this review.

Purpose of the study

The identified purpose/aim of the article is to emphasize the available options and adaptations for contribution to the management and survival of the current Coronavirus pandemic in the fields of traumatic stress, medical psychology/psychiatry, and other medical or non-medical fields. The paper also recommended four key areas of focus: mental health diagnostics, prevention, public opinion, managing medical personnel, and integration of useful non-medical professionals to increase capacity. The study presented an idea for improving mental health response, especially in the case of an unprecedented pandemic.


This study employed an extrapolation technique by drawing from the recommendations of existing studies on the pandemic subject (COVID-19). The authors identified a limitation in the current level of research into certain aspects of the mental implications of the current pandemic, and they inferred/projected an improvement in general knowledge about its trauma-specific consequences and its management from existing and well-documented management approaches. Thus, the study involved a review and analysis of the steps and directions observed from existing studies to point in the next expected area of research interest.


This section discusses a few results that are linked to the areas of concentration of the study. From a diagnostics point of view, this paper identifies the classification of PTSD as a mental health issue to be a significant factor in the development of new aspects of mental health research in the past few years. This, in turn, closed significant gaps that would have been existent, thereby limiting the quality of understanding and management that has been established in that sphere. In like manner, this study establishes the short-comings of the current level of understanding and diagnosis of COVID-19 induced mental trauma. The premise is on the differentiation of the observed pattern and nature of this new type of trauma from existing and well-understood ones: such as those caused by war, natural hazards, sexual assault, etc. The main element of this new kind of trauma is a form of anticipatory anxiety. The mental stress associated with the current pandemic can also be observed in the form of cognitive dissonance, through which much of the human population have a certain expectation of doom as regards the pandemic (and they act accordingly). This fear, stress, and anxiety have been fueled mainly through the agency of mainstream media coverage and social media. This paper also found the current method of classifying and diagnosing traumatic stress as a negative health consequence of COVID-19, based on self-report data to be faulty. Based on this finding, new approaches for improving such diagnosis and data collection are recommended for investigation. The aspect of prevention focuses on the empirical findings from reviewed studies about PTSD. The main recommendations from the review indicate that PTSD is best dealt with through time. Most studies depend on an expectation of resilience and significant development in the mental character of the affected individual for dealing with the stress. This is especially true for most trauma in military personnel. Still, most civilians lack the same level of mental discipline and rigor that comes from years of physical and mental fitness. While some benefits have been found consistent with such approaches, their application to a new stress/anxiety-based trauma such as that observed with the COVID-19 pandemic requires a different and more proactive approach. The authors…

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…supposedly wrote the learner-centered syllabus as a relatively higher master teacher, as compared with evaluations from students that received the teacher-centered syllabus. The students also rated this teacher higher on the overall TBC ratings, especially on questions that suggest the teacher as creative, caring, enthusiastic, and with a positive attitude. The second hypothesis was also validated, as the same students with the learner-centered syllabus rated the teacher as possessing a higher professor-student rapport. This result validates the need for the study and suggests the preference of a learner-centered approach to designing educational syllabi. A syllabus that has a positive perception of the learners is likely to influence positive expectations in such learners before the commencement of actual classes/teaching. This improves the tendency for pre-class preparations in the students, which also facilitates actual learning during classes. This, in turn, leads to better outcomes in student performance and the overall education process. It is worth noting that the study did not identify the specific element in the learner-centered syllabus that appealed more to the student. More thorough research might consider conducting such surveys over various time-points in an academic setting, e.g., surveying with a TBC and SPR-S at the start of the session, and SPR-S at various time-points till the end of the session. This can improve the overall outcome of student participation and understanding in their courses and their overall content perception.


This article applied a few scientific pieces of evidence in their work, such as the suggestions from the study by Saville et al. (2010) and Harrington and Gabert-Quillen (2015), which formed the basis of their first research hypothesis. The evidence suggested that students are likely to perceive a faculty providing learner-centered syllabi as having higher master-teacher attributes than those that offer the traditional teacher-centered syllabi. This evidence was validated through the experimental study in this reviewed research article. Building on that premise/initial assumption, this study considered the same criteria and its impact on student perception on student-professor rapport, which distinguishes this study.


This article relates to the textbook reading on perception. It shows the significant relationship between perception and preparedness of the mind and body to engage in certain activities. Positive perception is likely to motivate preparation for engaging in activities, as opposed to a negative perception. Reading and reviewing this study has informed me of the scientific method of conducting experimental studies, as well as hypothesis formulation. Also, I have learned a valuable lesson that is significant beyond the scope of syllabus design. “When people feel that activity has their best interest at heart, they are…

Sample Source(s) Used


Richmond, A., Slattery, J., Mitchell, N., & Morgan, R. (2016). Can a learner-centered syllabus change students’ perceptions of student-professor rapport and master teacher behaviors? Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 2(3), 159-168.

Saville, B. K., Zinn, T. E., Brown, A. R., & Marchuk, K. A. (2010). Syllabus Detail and Students’ Perceptions of Teacher Effectiveness. Teaching of Psychology, 37(3), 186–189. DOI:10.1080/00986283.2010.488523 

Harrington, C. M., & Gabert-Quillen, C. A. (2015). Syllabus length and use of images: An empirical investigation of student perceptions. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 1(3), 235.

Wilson, J. H., & Ryan, R. G. (2013). Professor–student rapport scale: Six items predict student outcomes. Teaching of Psychology, 40(2), 130-133.

Cullen, R., & Harris, M. (2009). Assessing learner?centredness through course syllabi. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 34(1), 115-125.


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