Parents in lockdown

Prof Steve McKay, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Social and Political Science

There has been a great deal of speculation in the media about how relationships have fared during lockdown. Commitment theory sheds some interesting light on the matter in terms of predicting potential winners and losers (Stanley et al 2006).

Commitment has two different facets:

  • Dedication is the internal bond between two people that reflects their identity as a couple and sense of future. Dedication is what makes you want to be together.
  • Constraints are the external bonds that make it harder to leave a relationship, should you wish to do so. These include children, friends, shared history and cohabitation. Constraints are what make you have to be together.

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University of Lincoln, College of Social Science research

Harry Benson, Marriage Foundation
Stephen McKay, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Science