Relationships Emerging from COVID-19 into the “New Normal”
Our international research study is led by the University of Worcester, UK, in partnership with Relate and conducted in collaboration with Griffith University, in partnership with Relationships Australia. The research is about how individuals and families are coping and adapting to the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. You need to be at least 18 years old, and participation is completely voluntary. It is important that you understand why we are doing this research, what it will involve, what information we will ask from you, and how we will use the information. It is up to you to decide whether or not you want to take part in this study. The first survey will be open for 60 days from its launch and should take you about 20 minutes to complete; you may only complete it once.
What is the purpose of the research?
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of our lives and everyone has faced a variety of challenges since the end of March 2020. Life in lockdown has meant that some people have been socially isolated, unable to spend time with their family and friends, while others have been living closer together with a number of family members under the same roof. In addition, many have had to cope with the increased burden of care as a result of quarantine restrictions and/or shielding vulnerable members of their household, as well as providing round the clock childcare and home-schooling. Some families have been able to enjoy more time together; while others have found the lockdown has put increased strain on their relationships; and some people will have lost a loved one to COVID-19. Now, as the lockdown is easing in some areas, while being reimposed in other areas, this study will help us understand how families navigate “the new normal”.
What are the benefits for me in taking part?
Sharing your experiences by participating in this study will make a valuable contribution to helping us understand how individuals and families are coping and adapting to the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic; and enable organisations such as Relationships Australia to provide appropriate support for families as they navigate these challenges, and to advocate the needs of families across Australia at this time.
What happens if I agree to participate?
If you agree to take part you will be asked a series of questions about your family life and relationships, overall health and wellbeing, your children (if you have children under the age of 18 living with you) and how you are coping and how you feel about the future. The survey also asks demographic related questions – including gender, ethnicity - so results can be interpreted more meaningfully, however providing this information is optional and participants can chose not to answer.
We want to follow up as many people as possible over the next year and will invite you to complete some follow up surveys at approximately three monthly intervals. These will be shorter and take approximately 15 minutes to complete. If you agree to participate, you will be asked to give us an email to send you the link to the surveys, and to create your unique survey participant ID number.
You have the right to discontinue your participation at any time. You can withdraw by closing the browser page down without submitting your responses and your data will not be saved. Once you have submitted your survey responses you will be unable to withdraw your data as participation is anonymous. You can opt-out of future surveys by contacting us at email@example.com with your unique survey participant ID number and we will not contact you again.
Are there any risks to me in taking part?
The research poses no risk to you or any participant, beyond those experienced in everyday life. If you find any of the questions uncomfortable then you do not have to answer them and, if you wish, you can simply tick “prefer not to answer”.
If any participants are affected by any of the issues mentioned in the survey and feel they need support, Relationships Australia have a comprehensive hub of COVID-19 related information which may be useful:
Participants can also access a comprehensive list of Crisis Help and Support agencies which offer free of charge services here:
Or can contact Relationships Australia directly for support on 1300364277
How will my information be used?
The information you give us will be treated confidentially at all times and will not be shared with anyone outside the research team. Your anonymised data will be stored in a password-protected file and may be used in academic publications and reports. Research data will be stored for a minimum of three years after publication of the findings of the research.
We will not know your name and your email address will be removed before any analysis takes place. Your email address will never be passed to any third parties.
You will find detailed information about the study and its etical clearance here. Please take time to read this information carefully and if you have any questions about the study, please contact the research team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please indicate your willingness to participate below.