Campus News

Psychology professor talks relationships during the pandemic

Richard Slatcher, a psychology professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, was recently quoted in an article in The Guardian about relationships in the era of COVID.

People often don’t realize how stress can influence a relationship and a couple’s ability to be good partners, Slatcher said.

“When people get divorced and you ask them what happened, you don’t hear them say, ‘Well, both of us were under a tremendous amount of stress at work at the time, and that led us to neglect our relationship, and we fought a lot because of the work stress,’” he said. “You don’t ever hear that, but that [stress] can often be a driving force in a relationship’s decline.”

Slatcher is a part of a group of researchers conducting a study on people’s love lives during the pandemic. Some couples actually saw an improvement in their relationships, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, because they were spending more time with each other, he said.

The article continued to detail how COVID-19 lockdowns contributed to loneliness and stifled in-person interactions for some couples.