Shifts in ecology, behavior, values, and relationships during the coronavirus pandemic: Survival threat, subsistence activities, conservation of resources, and interdependent families

Patricia M. Greenfield*, Genavee Brown, Han Du

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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What are the psychological effects of the coronavirus pandemic? Greenfield's Theory of Social Change, Cultural Evolution, and Human Development predicts that when survival concerns augment, and one's social world narrows toward the family household. life shifts towards activities, values, relationships, and parenting expectations typical of small-scale rural subsistence environments with low life expectancy. Specific predictions were that, during the pandemic, respondents would report intensified survival concerns (e.g., thinking about one's own mortality); increased subsistence activities (e.g., growing food); augmented subsistence values (e.g., conserving resources); more interdependent family relationships (e.g., members helping each other obtain food); and parents expecting children to contribute more to family maintenance (e.g., by cooking for the family). All hypotheses were confirmed with a large-scale survey in California (N = 1,137) administered after about a month of stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic; results replicated in Rhode Island (N = 955). We posited that an experience of increased survival concerns and number of days spent observing stay-at-home orders would predict these shifts. A structural equation model confirmed this hypothesis. [Abstract copyright: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.]
Original languageEnglish
Article number100017
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Research in Ecological and Social Psychology
Early online date12 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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