How lockdown is affecting relationships – UEA

Couple separated on sofa wearing masks and playing with phones

A team of experts is investigating how the coronavirus lockdown has impacted on people’s relationships and routines.

Social researchers from The University of Manchester, University of East Anglia, University of Nottingham, and London Metropolitan University, have launched a nationwide questionnaire to explore how personal relationships may have changed during lockdown, including how confinement has impacted domestic, work, leisure and social habits.

A similar study has successfully been carried out in France, which received more than 16,000 responses and found that women were the ‘great communicators’ of lockdown, developing new contacts and strengthening old friendships.

The UK researchers hope to be able to compare the responses, in order to assess the impact of lockdown across the two countries.

The anonymous survey is open to everyone, and can be completed on computers, tablets and smartphones. Participants will be asked questions about the conditions of their housing, their work situation – such as whether they have been furloughed or are working from home, as well as their daily activities both before and during lockdown. It will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Dr Emilie Vrain, a social scientist in UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences, said: “During the last few months we have been going through a situation of global health and social crisis. This exceptional event has been marked by the need to social distance, limiting our movements, activities and contacts that filled our ordinary lives.

“With this unprecedented situation, we want to understand how our living conditions, our relationships and the forms of solidarity have evolved. Have we managed to maintain our relationships? Have some strengthened through care, attention and increased communication? Or have connections fizzled out or been damaged, perhaps permanently, by lockdown conditions?

“Hearing from UK population about how they faced the threat of Covid-19 will help us to understand the short and long-term consequences of an unprecedented event like the lockdown.”

Visit to take part in the survey. It will be open until August 15th for people to take part, and initial results are expected to be published in the autumn.

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