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COVID-19 and relationships study

Romantic relationships are vital to social life, yet neglected in popular discourse on COVID. Also, across the behavioural sciences, the social-psychological processes by which individuals cope with the COVID-19 pandemic are unclear. Finally, within relationship science, the social-psychological dynamics by which individuals utilise their close relationships with romantic partners to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic have received little attention.

In the present study, we examine the effects of COVID-19 on the dynamics of romantic relationships among individuals who are in lockdown with their partners within the UK, with the goal of sharing results with the Bowlby Centre (located in London, dedicated to promoting empirical research and counselling practice as informed by John Bowlby's attachment theory) so that counsellors will be able to use the best available information when working with clients. We will hold online Webinars with Bowlby Centre staff members, in order to share information. In addition, we will prepare briefing papers (thus offering the potential for more detailed rationale underlying the study, further explanation of methodology and results, and additional room for interpreting results and placing our findings within a broader social and psychological context). Furthermore, upon request, we will be glad to share our findings with individual research participants.


  • Gaines, S. O., Jr. (2020). Personality psychology: The basics. London: Routledge.

  • Gaines, S. O., Jr. (2018). Identity and interethnic marriage in the United States. New York: Routledge. (Original work published 2017)

  • Gaines S. O., Jr. (2018). Personality and close relationship processes. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. (Original work published 2016) ***WINNER***: 2018 Distinguished Book Award, International Association for Relationship Research

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Stanley Gaines
Dr Stanley Gaines - Research interests span aceoss the fields of relationship science (e.g., impact of traits, values, attitudes, and other aspects of personality on interdependence processes in close relationships, ethnic studies (e.g., links among aspects of ethnic attitudes and ethnic behaviour among members of various ethnic groups), and international development (e.g., psychometric properties of scales that were designed to measure aspects of inner wellbeing among individuals in various nations).

Related Research Group(s)


Culture and Evolution - Evolution and culture are the two most fundamental and powerful influences on human behaviour, and their effects are what we study at the Centre for Culture and Evolution.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 13/11/2023