The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every area of daily life, including romantic relationships. With the pandemic still ongoing, this study reviewed the existing scholarly literature to document the status of empirical research on how COVID-19 has affected couples during its first year. Studies were identified through searching five databases as well as sources of gray literature. Overall, 42 studies on committed romantic relationships during the first year of the pandemic were identified. The mapping process revealed four main themes: (1) relationship quality; (2) sexuality; (3) couple daily adjustment; and (4) intimate partner violence. The findings suggest that the way romantic relationships were affected by the pandemic depends on a variety of demographic, individual, and couple-level factors. Implications include a call for both the development of evidence-based interventions that consider the current findings and further research to continue exploring the clinical implications of future findings to promote healthy intimate relationships during the ongoing global pandemic.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Family Process published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Family Process Institute.
- romantic relationships
- systematic review
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)