Skip to content

COVID Reset: Prioritizing Social Connections

Older adults are strengthening social connections as the pandemic eases.

As the pandemic eases, the U.S. population is readjusting priorities, including time together with others (family, friends, neighbors, community members).

Key Findings

People are intensely refocusing on strengthening connections with friends and family, especially for those who saw negative effects of COVID-19.

Connections with family largely stayed the same or got stronger earlier in the pandemic, but connections with friends that shifted became weaker (and especially for those 50 to 59).

Women, acculturated Hispanic adults, and those ages 50 to 59 place even more importance on connections with both family and friends in light of the pandemic.

Trips with family and friends, regularly meeting with family, and regularly meeting with friends are more important to 50-plus adults now than earlier in the pandemic.


A seven-minute online survey was administered in English in June 2022 to 1,985 adults age 50 and older. Data are weighted by age, gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, region and income to the November 2021 Current Population Survey (CPS) data.

For more information, please contact Vicki Levy at

Suggested citation:

Levy, Vicki. COVID Reset: Prioritizing Social Connections. Washington, DC: AARP Research, August 2022.

AARP–Nat Geo Second Half of Life Study

​As people age, optimism and contentment emerge alongside an alignment of expectations and realities.

Find Out More