When Australia went into lockdown in March 2020, it changed the very fabric of many families’, couples’ and individuals’ daily lives. For many, lockdown saw a completely new way of living and working which brought along its own unique set of challenges.
Some of these challenges included:
- living in confined spaces
- living apart from loved ones
- changes to working patterns and increased unemployment
- dealing with poor health and bereavement
- managing anxiety
- financial insecurity
- tension and conflict.
To understand these challenges better, Relationships Australia is a partner in an independent international long-term research study led by Dr Gabriela Misca, an expert in child and family psychology at the University of Worcester, United Kingdom, in collaboration with the School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University and Relate in the United Kingdom.
The Families Un-locked study aims to understand the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 and the influence it continues to have across the globe. Over the next year, through repeat surveys at quarterly intervals, the study will discover how people’s relationships are faring while the pandemic’s impact continues alongside optimistic news of treatments and vaccines. The changes brought by the measures to control the spread of the virus, which have profoundly affected family and work life, will continue to shape our relationships into the ‘new normal’.
The study provides a unique opportunity to compare experiences internationally and share lessons learnt to support families and relationships across borders.
If you live in Australia and are aged 18 or over, we encourage you to take part in this important study and share your experiences of how the pandemic has affected and continues to affect your family and relationships.
How to get involved
We want to recruit a large number of participants from diverse backgrounds to take part in the study.
We also want to hear from people who have worked and continue to work on the ‘frontline’ and from their families, to understand how people from all walks of life have been impacted and are now coping as we enter a ‘new normal’.
Relationships Australia has a long history of responding to societal change and this research will be vital for informing our services in these exceptional times.