Anthony Ong, professor of human development, has examined the emotional impacts of self isolation. He says while self isolation may intensify feelings of loneliness, it’s also an opportunity to connect virtually and learn from each other.
Self-quarantining with a significant other is another opportunity for growth. In a post for Scientific American, The (Potential) Upside of Sheltering in Place for Couples, Dr. Ong and co-author Richard Slatcher, proposes that enforced togetherness could strengthen bonds as partners turn to each other for support.
Dr. Ong and his co-investigator, Tara Gruenewald, associate professor of psychology at Chapman University, have been awarded a grant to study how prosocial behavior can lessen the detrimental effects of COVID-19 on mental, physical, and social well-being. They will be recruiting a national sample of 2,000 adults for a four-month, three-wave longitudinal study, the scholars will examine whether a brief prosocial intervention can alter perceptions of loneliness and enhance optimal pandemic coping behaviors.