Albert F., Brys Z., Gerdán M., Herke B. (2023). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on important relationships in Hungary

Albert Fruzsina, Brys Zoltán, Gerdán Mercédesz, Herke Boglárka (2023). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on important relationships in Hungary. In: István, Grajczjár; Laki, Ildikó (szerk.) Epidemic and society, trends, consequences, coping strategies. Budapest, Magyarország : Milton Friedman University. 163 p. pp. 7-34. , 28 p.


In the present study, we applied a new name generator question to map the most important adult relationships for the ego. We describe the egocentric networks that emerge as well as their variation across sociodemographic groups and the changes in the type, frequency and quality of relationships before the COVID-19 pandemic and in 2021 as reflected by the personal experience of the respondents. We have a closer look at friendship ties in particular. The analysis uses the database of the research project “The social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”. The data was collected online between 29 November 2021 and 11 December 2021 using a quota method among the Hungarian population aged 18-65 with internet access, with a sample size of 1,000. The quota was defined by age, gender, type of municipality and educational attainment based on the population data provided by the KSH. According to the results, 4.6% of respondents were completely isolated, and respondents named an average of 5.5 persons important to them. The dominance of close family ties is very strong. The proportion of personal contacts dropped significantly during the quarantine periods, with the quality of the contacts remaining largely unchanged or deteriorating. A third of respondents mentioned a friend as one of the most important people to them. Friendly relationships are more fragile than family relationships, with young people and women in particular reporting higher rates of loss of friendships.