Recently published research suggests family relations in Switzerland deteriorated more after pandemic-induced confinement rather than during it.
A study conducted by the University of Luzern showed that family conflict rose more after lockdown rather than during it.
People in families were asked how they felt during the eight weeks of restrictions over spring and over a period of four weeks during the summer after confinement.
The majority of those questioned described their families as fairly harmonious both during and after lockdown. Around a quarter reported friction or tension.
Greater friction was correlated with lower incomes, a lack of outside space and the need to combine work with having children at home.
5.5% of respondents reported being subject to violence by an adult during 8 weeks of lockdown compared to 5.2% over the 4 weeks following lockdown. However, given that the lockdown period was twice as long as the summer period covered following it, violence was far more frequent after confinement than during it. Instances of violence against children rose from 4.5% to 5.6% over the two periods. The most common form of violence was repeated verbal abuse. Comparatively few respondents reported physical or sexual violence.
The survey results suggest the pandemic and resulting confinement intensified existing risk factors rather than creating the seeds of conflict. Low conflict households remained so. However, fractious households before the pandemic became more fractious during confinement. And this intensification appears to have continued and spiralled since confinement.
The survey of 1,037 people across all of Switzerland was conducted by gfs.bern on behalf of the University of Luzern.
University of Luzern study (in German)