Nottingham researchers want to know how lockdown is affecting your relationships

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Researchers in Nottingham are part of a team investigating how the coronavirus lockdown has impacted people’s relationships and routines.

The University of Nottingham is working with a team of experts in social networks from The University of Manchester, the University of East Anglia and London Metropolitan University, on launching, collating and analysing the results of a nationwide questionnaire.

The study will explore how personal relationships may have changed during lockdown, including how confinement has impacted domestic, work, leisure and social habits.

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. The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

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 effects of the lockdown are being examined by several research teams, and rightly so. However, our study is unique because of its focus on social networks and because of its comparative approach, bringing together researchers from France and the UK.
Alessio D'Angelo, Director of the International Centre for Public and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham

Dr D'Angelo continued: "This means we will be able to analyse whether there is a transnational element to the extent that people have been affected and whether the political responses in each country may have had an impact. Therefore, it’s hugely important that as many people as possible take part in order to ensure the results represent the whole of the UK.” 

The survey will be open for people to take part until 15 August 2020, with initial results expected to be published in the autumn.

Dr Elisa Bellotti, Sociology Programme Director at The University of Manchester, said: “The lockdown experience has been sudden, scary and disruptive to our everyday lives. Our survey aims to capture how this unprecedented event has affected our relationships both with the people we live with, and those we share other parts of our lives with. Did we reach out to friends, neighbours or colleagues to find or offer help? Did we reconnect with friends and relatives we hadn’t spoken to for a long time? Did we find ourselves overwhelmed by our relationships’ needs and requests? Has the pandemic ultimately shaped our significant social relations in unexpected ways?

“Reaching out to the UK population to explore how they faced the threat of Covid-19 is essential to understand the short term and long-term consequences of the lockdown, and to provide evidence on how people may have been affected. We hope people will be willing to provide their own experience by participating in the survey.”

Story credits

More information is available from Alessio D'Angelo, Assistant Professor of Public and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham at; or Katie Andrews in the Press Office at the University of Nottingham at

Visit to take part in the survey.

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Katie Andrews - Media Relations Manager Social Sciences
Phone: 0115 951 5751

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