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- by  Kansas City NPR

Kansas City NPR, September 12, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has inadvertently created a kind of large-scale social experiment that has tested how people fare when their social lives are suddenly upended.

The strain of living in crowded households may have been a large factor in breaking social distancing rules and putting health at risk during the pandemic, according to a new study involving two University of Missouri-Kansas City researchers.

While many experts speculated that isolation could test individuals’ emotional well-being during the pandemic’s lock-down, the new study by UMKC political science professors Debra Leiter and Beth Vonnahme, along with Jack Reilly at the New College of Florida, found the opposite is true.

“People who feel overwhelmed by those around them because they are constantly present might seek to get out and to violate social distancing,” Vonnahme said.

The researchers’ newly-published article in the journal Social Sciences Quarterly was taken from an opinion survey conducted online in spring and summer of 2020. The results showed:

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