Constructing personal networks in light of COVID-19 containment measures

Emanuela Furfaro, Giulia Rivellini, Elvira Pelle, Susanna Zaccarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The policies for containing the spread of the SARS-CoV2 virus include a number of measures aimed at reducing physical contacts. In this paper, we explore the potential impact of such containment measures on social relations of both young adults and the elderly in Italy. We propose two ego-centered network definitions accounting for physical distance in light of the COVID-19 containment measures: the easy-to-reach network, that represents an accessible source of support that can be activate in case of new lockdown; the accustomed-to-reach network, which includes proximity and habit to meet in person. The approach used for constructing personal (ego-centered) networks on data from the most recent release of Families and Social Subject survey allows us to bring to the foreground people exposed to relational vulnerability. The analysis of the most vulnerable individuals by age, gender, and place of residence reveals that living alone is often associated with a condition of relational vulnerability for both the elderly and for young adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Lockdown
  • Personal networks
  • Physical presence
  • Relational vulnerability
  • Support


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