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Science Goes On, As Life Does
J Korean Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2021; 32(1): 1-2
Published online January 1, 2021
© 2021 Korean Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Hee Jeong Yoo

Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea

The new period of editorship has started in the middle of one of the most complicated epochs in decades. The COVID-19 pandemic affects the whole community, including children, adolescents, their families, and the educational system. Unexpectedness, interrupted daily routines, disconnected social relations, fear and anxiety toward inner and outer threats, exhaustion of parents, and confusion in the role of schools characterize this pandemic era [1]. As children and adolescents are the most sensitive, dynamic beings who interact with the environment by nature, they might be some of the most vulnerable populations going through the long tunnel whose end we cannot glimpse.

Paradoxically, this unusual situation prompted me to contemplate the role of research and academic journals. When we are facing uncertainty, our brain is operating to seek social references, which helps us to understand and accommodate the unfamiliar situation, as toddlers refer to the facial expression of their parents to determine their behavior when they encounter a stranger. This might be one of the reasons people are intrigued by all kinds of fake news, quasiscience, and interventions with little evidence to explain the situation in a definite manner, especially when they are getting into situations that provoke anxiety. Scientific researchers are the warriors to fight against falsehood with the sword of scientific thoughts and methodologies. Therefore, the first responsibility of scientific journals is to be a secure ground for those fighters to declare what they observe, think, and suggest. In the next period of editorship, the Journal of Korean Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JKACAP) would like to foster research to be a background of evidence-based medicine in child and adolescent psychiatry. In addition, the JKACAP would be a secure basecamp for sharing, accumulating, and preserving systematic knowledge for future researchers.

The social untact era makes it inevitable to implement different ways of living. The meetings and school classes are being conducted online, many concerts are being shown with real-time streaming even with augmented reality, and clinical practices and evaluations are bring provided with telehealth models in some countries. Those were uncomfortable at first, but people are adapting and evolving to assimilate themselves in a new environment. The quality and quantity of remote communication technologies have developed tremendously within a year. Once the technology settles, it might not be easy to return to the past. It seems clear that conventional ways of living and social interaction might be neither permanent nor optimal. In other words, the flexibility of ideas, not just sticking to the conventional way of thinking, might be an essential tool to survive the upcoming era. Therefore, I think the second mission for the JKACAP is to be an open-minded gateway to innovative research, including multidisciplinary research. In this context, we invited three new Editorial Board members outside the field of child psychiatry for the first time in the journal’s history. Professor So Hyun Kim and Professor Christine Falter-Wagner are distinguished psychology researchers working with people with autism spectrum disorder. Professor Yong Seok Lee is one of the most actively working scholars in the field of neurophysiology in Korea. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to them for accepting my invitation, and I expect them to help our community to expand our viewpoint in a wider and wiser way. In addition, I invited young scholars in child and psychiatry, Professors Chan-Mo Yang, Kyoung Min Kim, Jae-Won Choi, and Jun Won Kim as new board members. Their ideas and energies would be a huge think tank for the future of our journal.

The pandemic era provokes the idea of globalization. For example, the phenomenon of the spread of viral infection is global, but the situation in each country is a delicate summary of an “epigenetic” phenomenon, i.e., interaction with the virus, its hosts and their behavior, and the resulting societal/political decisions. As declared in the last issue of the journal, globalization is one of the tasks that JKACAP should accomplish. However, globalization might not be able to come up with the same definition of what is happening in the whole world, but rather understand the unique human–environment interaction in the context of different cultures or communities. At the same time, as each culture has multiple layers within it, we should be careful not to stereotype each one. Therefore, I dare say that the JKACAP will try to be a place where international researchers share ideas regarding the mental health issues of children and adolescents living and developing in their own macro- and microenvironment, with insiders’ own viewpoints and insight. It would help us to consider how to help our children and adolescents to make and maintain the goodness of fit in this tumultuous and ever-changing world.

The current issue owes to the efforts of previous editor in chief, professor Geon Ho Bahn, and editorial board members. The articles deal with timely and urgent issues including compliance with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication, adolescent suicide and deliberate self-poisoning, pregnancy risk factors of ADHD, the effect of prevention programs on school violence, and evidence of Early Start Denver Model intervention in autism spectrum disorder implemented in Japan. I expect the implications from articles to be a useful resource to apply in immediate clinical practice.

At the starting point of the new period of editorship, I try to think and act positively. We are obviously in the midst of years of uncertainty and anxiety, but proper science, communication, and collective intelligence would give us answers to survive and thrive as an unexpected Christmas present. Our science will continue, as our lives do. We will find a way, as has always been the case [2].

  1. Nearchou F, Flinn C, Niland R, Subramaniam SS, Hennessy E. Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health Outcomes in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020;17:8479.
    Pubmed KoreaMed CrossRef
  2. Interstellar. 2014, Christopher Nolan.

April 2021, 32 (2)
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