Lockdown Lives: A longitudinal study of inter-relationships amongst feelings of loneliness, social contacts and solidarity during the COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020

PsyCorona Team

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

In this work, we study how social contacts and feelings solidarity shape experiences of loneliness during the COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020. We draw on cross-national data, collected across four time points between mid-March until early May 2020. We situate our work within the public debate on these issues and discuss to what extent the public understanding of the impact of lockdown is borne out in the data. Results show, first, that although online contacts are beneficial in combating feelings of loneliness, people who feel
more lonely are less likely to make use of this strategy. Second, online contacts
do not function as a substitute to face-to-face contacts - in fact, more frequent online contacts in earlier weeks predicted an increase in face-to-face contacts in later weeks. Finally, solidarity played only a small role in shaping people’s feelings of loneliness during lockdown. In sum, our findings suggest that we must look beyond the current focus on online contact and solidarity, if we want to help people address their feelings of loneliness. We hope that this work will be instrumental not only in understanding the impact of the lockdown in early
2020, but also in preparing for possible future lockdown periods.
Original languageEnglish
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • loneliness
  • social contacts
  • Covid-19
  • SOLIDARITY

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