Dr. Amanda Gesselman has been awarded an SSRC Covid-19 Rapid-Response Grant. These grants provide funding for projects from across the social sciences and related fields that address the social, economic, cultural, psychological, and political impact of Covid-19 in the United States and globally, as well as responses to the pandemic’s wide-ranging effects.
Dr. Gesselman is the lead investigator on the new study “Loneliness, Well-Being, and Meaningful Digital Connections in LGBTQ+ Individuals during Covid-19” which will focus on participants’ digital interactions as conduits for meaningful connections and buffers against loneliness.
Restrictions on social gatherings and self-isolation protocols instituted over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic have made it more difficult for some individuals to maintain feelings of connection and social intimacy. LGBTQ+ individuals in particular are susceptible to loneliness, and may be at greater risk for its long-term negative effects on physical and emotional health.
At the same time, the pandemic has increased the availability and popularity of online interactions via the web, video conferencing, online chat, and other forms of digital communication that may serve to keep people feeling connected. Dr. Gesselman’s study will focus specifically on participants’ digital interactions as conduits for meaningful connections and buffers against loneliness through a 30-day daily diary study and extended monthly check-ins.
Other researchers involved in the study are Dr. Justin Garcia, Dr. Justin Lehmiller, and Dr. Alexandra Marcotte all of the Kinsey Institute, and Dr. Kristen Mark of the University of Kentucky.
You can read more about other studies in the the Kinsey Institute’s COVID-19 research program here.