When COVID-19 hit and Central Florida went into lockdown, UCF undergraduate student Victor Blocker began noticing mounting tension and stress among his friends, particularly couples.

That’s what sparked Blocker’s research idea, which he turned into a project he will share during the Student Scholar Symposium, part of UCF’s annual Student Research Week, March 29-April 2.

“I noticed the dynamics of couples within my inner circle,” Blocker says. “I wanted to test my hypothesis and see if there is, in fact, a direct impact of the pandemic on intimate relationships. My project aims to correlate the impact of the COVID pandemic on intimate relationships by analyzing relationships that began before and after the outbreak.”

Blocker says that he hopes when his research is complete it will help couples identify stressors in their relationship that the pandemic exacerbates so they can develop strategies to overcome the obstacles.

He plans to finish his bachelor’s degree in psychology this year and then get his doctorate in clinical psychology with hopes of becoming an associate professor of psychology.

“I am passionate about psychology because it grants us insight into the mind, and armed with that knowledge we are able to better understand ourselves and others,” he says.

To find out more about Blocker’s work and that of other undergraduate and graduate students, check out the Student Scholar Symposium during this year’s virtual Student Research Week. Hundreds of students will present their work. Anyone with a valid UCF email address is welcome to attend virtually. Details and schedule of all events are available on the website.