Social & Behavioral Science Spotlight – Jennifer Samp


Social & Behavioral Science Spotlight – Jennifer Samp

Jennifer A. Samp

Jennifer Samp
OIBR Fellow
Professor, Communication Studies
Topic: How COVID-19 and resultant stressors related to meat and poultry distribution are impacting farmers’ mental health and family relationships.

According to research by Dr. Jennifer Samp, COVID-19 has been an increasing source of tension for relationships. In newer relationships, COVID-19 has created geographical distances that have hindered relationship development. In some cases, COVID-19 has resulted in the termination of some dating relationships because there has been little opportunity to see one another, making relationship maintenance difficult. In other circumstances, some relationships on the verge of commitment, cohabitation, or serious relational disclosure (for example, proclamations of love, commitment, or relational definition (“e.g.: I’m gay, I want to be exclusive”) has left a lot of emerging couples “up in the air” about if and how to move their relationships forward.

At the most negative level, COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in increased relational conflict, frustration with partners, and mulling about “where to go from here.”  

On the family level, increased financial pressures (such as farmers not being able to sell their product, transportation constraints and a general decrease in the availability of social resources outside of the home) has resulted in increased marital and familial tensions that most families have not been prepared to tackle.

Through data being conducted by phone or Zoom, Dr. Samp expects to complete this research project in spring 2021.

Find out more about Dr. Jennifer Samp and her research, by going here.