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New Paper: Social distancing during Covid-19 lockdown and connectedness

Feeling connected with others is a fundamental human need and is associated with health and well-being. In recent years, the ways in which we connect and interact have been challenged by distancing measures during the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to psychological and social issues. In a new paper published in Psychology Hub, an open access journal of the University La Sapienza of Rome, Laura Menatti and Mariagrazia Ranzini explore the impact of social distancing on relationships and the sense of connectedness.

The study, conducted in Italy, France, and Spain, consisted of a survey during the initial lockdown period. Participants were asked to assess their level of connectedness to personal communities such as family and friends, the local municipality, and European or global communities. The authors also looked at other factors, such as the quality of social relations, fear of contagion, loneliness, and worries for the future in relation to feelings of connectedness.

The findings of the study revealed that fear of infection and feelings of loneliness had significant effects on connectedness to family and friends. In addition, feeling connected to both personal and larger groups was associated with less worries about the future.

Menatti and Ranzini emphasise the implications of their findings for the post-pandemic world and for everyday health and well-being. The study highlighted people’s ability to adapt during the first lockdown, with some individuals improving their social interactions despite the constraints of social distancing. This led to an improvement in connectedness, which helped to reduce worries about the future. Therefore, the authors argue that the importance of connectedness should be promoted from a local to a global level and considered in future public health policies related to pandemics and lockdowns, as it can promote well-being and faith in the future for individuals and societies alike.



Menatti, Laura, & Ranzini, Mariagrazia (2023). Has social distancing increased our relationships and sense of being connected? : Results from a study conducted in Italy, France and Spain during the first COVID-19 lockdown. Psychology Hub, 40(1), 37–48.

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