Family life in lockdown

Pietro Biroli, Steven Bosworth*, Marina Della Giusta, Amalia Di Girolamo, Sylvia Jaworska, Jeremy Vollen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)


The lockdown imposed following the COVID-19 pandemic of spring 2020 dramatically changed the daily lives and routines of millions of people worldwide. We analyze how such changes contributed to patterns of activity within the household using a novel survey of Italian, British, and American families in lockdown. A high percentage report disruptions in the patterns of family life, manifesting in new work patterns, chore allocations, and household tensions. Though men have taken an increased share of childcare and grocery shopping duties, reallocations are not nearly as stark as disruptions to work patterns might suggest, and families having to reallocate duties report greater tensions. Our results highlight tightened constraints budging up against stable and gendered patterns of intra-household cooperation norms. While the long-run consequences of the COVID-19 lockdown on family life cannot be assessed at this stage, we point toward the likely opportunities and challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number687570
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Biroli, Bosworth, Della Giusta, Di Girolamo, Jaworska and Vollen.


  • care
  • COVID-19
  • housework
  • lockdown
  • tensions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Family life in lockdown'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this