In the summer of 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted a study of 1,510 Americans regarding how they adapted religious, spiritual, and relational practices to the shutdowns surrounding the pandemic. We employed a “mixed methods design” meaning that we obtained both quantitative (numerical) and qualitative (textual) information from respondents. Because of the complex nature of the pandemic and of the data we collected, and because of our commitment to providing accurate, meaningful, and helpful information about the pandemic, we have been working carefully and systematically to have a deep and nuanced understanding of these findings. We have written several manuscripts based on these data and publications reporting these analyses will begin appearing in late 2021 or early 2022.
Regression analyses showed that, compared to those who maintained their levels of financial stress, those who reported increased financial stress reported increased conflict and those who reported decreased financial stress reported decreased conflict. However, decreased financial stress was also associated with decreases in emotional closeness and relationship happiness, suggesting that changes in financial stress can lead to both maladaptation and bonadaptation in families.
Given disruptions to families’ routines and processes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, this article explores associations between changes in the frequency of spiritual practices and relational well-being during COVID-19.