Decreased frequency of small talk due to the COVID-19 pandemic has deteriorated mental health -- May 04
Findings from longitudinal surveys of middle-aged and older people in Japan

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has reduced opportunities for small talk. As small talk involves socializing, such deprivation can be stressful.

This study examined the association between the change in the frequency of small talk from before to during the pandemic and the mental health of middle-aged and older people. We obtained data from web-based longitudinal surveys for members of a Japanese social networking service. People who felt their small talk frequency decreased during the pandemic compared with the prepandemic period had lower psychological well-being and greater loneliness than those who did not. Our study quantitatively revealed the importance of small talk during the pandemic in maintaining people’s mental health. ...continue reading