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:

Read the points here:

Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is a top-ranked public liberal arts college and the state’s Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in arts, humanities and sciences, a master’s degree program in applied data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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