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1.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; : 1-9, 2022 Apr 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784261

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In many countries with high levels of COVID-19 vaccine access, uptake remains a major issue. We examined prospective predictors of COVID-19 vaccine uptake in a United States longitudinal study. METHODS: An online longitudinal study on COVID-19 and well-being assessed vaccine hesitancy attitudes, social norms, and uptake among 444 respondents who had completed both survey waves in March and June 2021. RESULTS: The mean sample age was 41, with 55% female, 71% white, 13% Black, and 6% Latinx. In March 2021, 14% had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. By June 2021, 64% reported receiving at least one dose. In prospectively assessing predictors of vaccine uptake, we found strong correlations among five different vaccine hesitancy questions. In multivariable logistic regression models, family and friends discouraging vaccination (adjusted odds ratios [aOR] = .26, 95% CI = .07, .98), not knowing whom to believe about vaccine safety (aOR = .51, 95% CI = .27, .95), and concerns that shortcuts were taken with vaccine development (aOR = .43, 95% CI = .23, .81) were all independent predictors of lower vaccine uptake. Political conservatism, gender, education, and income were also independent predictors of reduced uptake. Vaccine hesitancy items were also modeled as a scale, and the scale was found to be strongly predictive of vaccine uptake. CONCLUSIONS: The findings highlight the importance of social norm interventions and suggest general and specific vaccine hesitancy attitudes, especially trust, should be considered in developing vaccine uptake programs.

2.
J Clim Chang Health ; 5: 100099, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1729936

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change are two current global threats. This study examined the relationship between climate change attitudes and COVID-19 behaviors and risk perceptions. Drivers of climate change attitudes and COVID-19 behaviors were also assessed. Study participants were an online sample of 520 respondents from a longitudinal study of COVID-19 and well-being in the US. Logistic regression models were used to examine the outcomes of climate change opinions and COVID-19 perceptions and prevention behaviors (perceived COVID-19 risk, mask wearing, social distancing, and vaccine intentions). Covariates included political ideology, conspiracy beliefs, and trust in scientific information about COVID-19. In the multivariable models of COVID-19 perceptions and prevention behaviors, climate change opinions were also included as a covariate. In these models, climate change attitudes were significantly associated with perceived risk of COVID-19, always wearing masks, decreased time spent with others due to COVID-19, and intention to get a COVID-19 vaccine. In adjusted models, the odds of wearing a mask increased 41% (CI: 1.11-1.78) for every 1-point increase on the climate attitude scale and decreased 13% (CI: 0.79-0.96) if the participant distrusted COVID-19 information. Those who reported distrust of COVID-19 information (aOR: 1.61, CI: 1.40-1.85), politically conservative ideology (aOR: 1.24, CI: 1.04-1.47), lower concern about climate change (aOR: 0.71, CI: 0.53-0.97), female sex (aOR: 2.39 CI: 1.38-4.13), and lower disbelief in conspiracy theories (aOR: 0.63, CI: 0.51-0.80) had higher odds of not intending to be vaccinated. These findings suggest that climate change attitudes are linked to COVID-19 behaviors and perceptions, which are not completely driven by political ideology or trust in scientific information.

3.
Prev Med Rep ; 24: 101584, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665377

ABSTRACT

Unprecedented global efforts in vaccine development have resulted in effective vaccines for COVID-19. The pandemic response in the US has been highly politicized, resulting in significant opposition to public health efforts, including vaccines. We aimed to understand patterns of attitudes and beliefs about the COVID-19 vaccine to inform vaccination campaigns. 583 English speaking United States adults were surveyed November 18-29, 2020. Participants answered 11 questions about their attitudes and beliefs about a COVID-19 vaccine, including perceived vaccine effectiveness, likelihood of getting vaccinated, and concerns that vaccine development was rushed/influenced by politics. We conducted a latent class analysis to identify profiles of attitudes/beliefs about a COVID-19 vaccine. We identified four classes of COVID-19 vaccine beliefs. The pro-vaccine class (28.8%) was willing to get vaccinated and had broadly positive beliefs about the vaccine. The development concerns class (27.8%) was willing to get vaccinated but was concerned about the development process. The third class (22.6%) was largely unsure if they would get vaccinated and if their peer groups would be vaccinated. The forth class (anti-vaccine, 20.8%) was dominated by an unwillingness to get vaccinated, vaccine distrust, vaccine development concerns, and peers groups with negative vaccine intentions. Given the large proportion of individuals who were concerned about the COVID-19 vaccine development process, messaging about rigor and approval processes may be critical to securing this group's commitment to vaccination. Having scientific and cultural leaders endorse vaccination may also be influential.

4.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0258828, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638062

ABSTRACT

The role of human behavior to thwart transmission of infectious diseases like COVID-19 is evident. Psychological and behavioral science are key areas to understand decision-making processes underlying engagement in preventive health behaviors. Here we adapt well validated methods from behavioral economic discounting and demand frameworks to evaluate variables (e.g., delay, cost, probability) known to impact health behavior engagement. We examine the contribution of these mechanisms within a broader response class of behaviors reflecting adherence to public health recommendations made during the COVID-19 pandemic. Four crowdsourced samples (total N = 1,366) completed individual experiments probing a response class including social (physical) distancing, facemask wearing, COVID-19 testing, and COVID-19 vaccination. We also measure the extent to which choice architecture manipulations (e.g., framing, opt-in/opt-out) may promote (or discourage) behavior engagement. We find that people are more likely to socially distance when specified activities are framed as high risk, that facemask use during social interaction decreases systematically with greater social relationship, that describing delay until testing (rather than delay until results) increases testing likelihood, and that framing vaccine safety in a positive valence improves vaccine acceptance. These findings collectively emphasize the flexibility of methods from diverse areas of behavioral science for informing public health crisis management.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Behavior , Vaccination/psychology , Adult , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing/economics , Female , Humans , Male , Masks , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
5.
Psychol Health Med ; 27(1): 162-177, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522025

ABSTRACT

The current study assessed how social norms were associated with the three effective Covid-19 prevention behaviors of social distancing, handwashing, and wearing protective face masks during the early stages of the pandemic in the US. Study participants were recruited online. Data from the present study was from a baseline quantitative survey administered from March 25th-27th, 2020. The 808 study participants were recruited for a longitudinal study online. Eligibility requirements included age 18 or older, living in the United States, English speaking and reading had heard of the Coronavirus or Covid-19, and provided informed consent. The three outcome variables were handwashing, mask wearing, and social distancing. Injunctive and descriptive norms were assessed. The injunctive norm of perceiving friends would find them rude if they did not affiliate with them because Covid-19 was associated with all three outcomes in both the bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models with adjusted odds ratios ranging from (aOR) = .80 for handwashing to aOR = .63 for social distancing and aOR = .77 for mask wearing. The descriptive cognitive norm of friends worrying about becoming infected was associated with all three outcomes in the bivariate analysis but only mask wearing in the multivariate models (aOR = 1.74). The study findings suggest there are strong social factors that correlate with behaviors to prevent the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. These findings also suggest that public health communication campaigns should focus on more than heightening risk perceptions. They should include attention to social norms and perceptions of social risks to significant others.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adolescent , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Norms , United States/epidemiology
6.
Preventive medicine reports ; 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1451744

ABSTRACT

Unprecedented global efforts in vaccine development have resulted in effective vaccines for COVID-19. The pandemic response in the US has been highly politicized, resulting in significant opposition to public health efforts, including vaccines. We aimed to understand patterns of attitudes and beliefs about the COVID-19 vaccine to inform vaccination campaigns. 583 English speaking United States adults were surveyed November 18-29, 2020. Participants answered 11 questions about their attitudes and beliefs about a COVID-19 vaccine, including perceived vaccine effectiveness, likelihood of getting vaccinated, and concerns that vaccine development was rushed/influenced by politics. We conducted a latent class analysis to identify profiles of attitudes/beliefs about a COVID-19 vaccine. We identified four classes of COVID-19 vaccine beliefs. The pro-vaccine class (28.8%) was willing to get vaccinated and had broadly positive beliefs about the vaccine. The development concerns class (27.8%) was willing to get vaccinated but was concerned about the development process. The third class (22.6%) was largely unsure if they would get vaccinated and if their peer groups would be vaccinated. The forth class (anti-vaccine, 20.8%) was dominated by an unwillingness to get vaccinated, vaccine distrust, vaccine development concerns, and peers groups with negative vaccine intentions. Given the large proportion of individuals who were concerned about the COVID-19 vaccine development process, messaging about rigor and approval processes may be critical to securing this group’s commitment to vaccination. Having scientific and cultural leaders endorse vaccination may also be influential.

7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(17)2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403591

ABSTRACT

While the majority of the American public believe climate change is occurring and are worried, few are engaged in climate change action. In this study, we assessed factors associated with the level of willingness to engage in climate change actions using an online, longitudinal US study of adults. Climate change action outcomes included the level of willingness to post materials online, take political actions, talk with peers about climate change, and donate to or help an organization. Predictors included climate change attitudes, environmental attitudes, political ideology, political party affiliation, and demographic variables. Most (72%) of the 644 respondents only talked about climate change with peers a few times a year or less, though 65% were very or extremely worried about climate change. Many respondents indicated a willingness to do somewhat or a lot more, from 38% willing to talk to peers to 25% for willing to take political actions. In multinomial regression models, the Climate Change Concern scale was strongly and consistently associated with willingness to engage in climate change action. These findings indicate a need to both identify those who are willing to act and finding activities that fit with their interests and availability.


Subject(s)
Climate Change , Politics , Attitude , Organizations , United States
8.
J Affect Disord ; 294: 949-956, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330919

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans have experienced mental distress, which may be partially characterized by a rise in mental illnesses. However, COVID-19 specific psychological distress may also be separate from diagnosable conditions, a distinction that has not been well established in the context of the pandemic. METHODS: Data came from an online survey of US adults collected in March 2020. We used factor analysis to assess the relationship between COVID-19 related mental distress and depressive symptoms. Using four questions on psychological distress modified for COVID-19 and eight depressive symptoms, we conducted an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to identify the factor structure and then estimated a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). RESULTS: The EFA model indicated a two-factor solution, where the COVID-19 distress items loaded onto the first factor and depression items loaded onto the second. Only two items cross-loaded between factors: feeling fearful and being bothered by things that do not usually bother the participant. The CFA indicated that this factor structure fit the data adequately (RMSEA=0.106, SRMR=0.046, CFI=0.915, TLI=0.890). LIMITATIONS: It is possible that there are additional important symptoms of COVID-19 distress that were not included. Depression symptoms were measured via the CES-D-10, which while validated is not equivalent to a clinician diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: As COVID-19 related mental distress appears to be distinct from, though related to, depression, public health responses must consider what aspects of depression treatment may apply to this phenomenon. For COVID-related distress, it may be more appropriate to treat symptomatically and with supportive psychotherapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , Adult , Anxiety , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
9.
J Occup Environ Med ; 63(5): 363-368, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301398

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We sought to understand barriers to staying home from work when sick from COVID-19 (COVID-19 presenteeism) to understand COVID-19 health disparities and transmission and guide workplace and social policy. METHODS: We used logistic regression models to assess which socioeconomic factors were associated with intended COVID-19 presenteeism among an online study population working outside their home in March 2020 (N = 220). RESULTS: Overall, 34.5% of participants reported intended COVID-19 presenteeism. Younger individuals and individuals making over $90,000 per year were less likely to report COVID-19 presenteeism. Individuals who were worried about having enough food had 3-fold higher odds of intended COVID-19 presenteeism. CONCLUSION: Current policies around food access, paid sick leave, and other workplace protections need to be expanded and made more accessible to reduce health disparities as well as the transmission of COVID-19 and other infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Intention , Presenteeism/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/economics , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Presenteeism/economics , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , United States/epidemiology
10.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0253208, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269921

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Carceral facilities are epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic, placing incarcerated people at an elevated risk of COVID-19 infection. Due to the initial limited availability of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, all states have developed allocation plans that outline a phased distribution. This study uses document analysis to compare the relative prioritization of incarcerated people, correctional staff, and other groups at increased risk of COVID-19 infection and morbidity. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a document analysis of the vaccine dissemination plans of all 50 US states and the District of Columbia using a triple-coding method. Documents included state COVID-19 vaccination plans and supplemental materials on vaccine prioritization from state health department websites as of December 31, 2020. We found that 22% of states prioritized incarcerated people in Phase 1, 29% of states in Phase 2, and 2% in Phase 3, while 47% of states did not explicitly specify in which phase people who are incarcerated will be eligible for vaccination. Incarcerated people were consistently not prioritized in Phase 1, while other vulnerable groups who shared similar environmental risk received this early prioritization. States' plans prioritized in Phase 1: prison and jail workers (49%), law enforcement (63%), seniors (65+ years, 59%), and long-term care facility residents (100%). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that states' COVID-19 vaccine allocation plans do not prioritize incarcerated people and provide little to no guidance on vaccination protocols if they fall under other high-risk categories that receive earlier priority. Deprioritizing incarcerated people for vaccination misses a crucial opportunity for COVID-19 mitigation. It also raises ethical and equity concerns. As states move forward with their vaccine distribution, further work must be done to prioritize ethical allocation and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to incarcerated people.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Care Rationing/organization & administration , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/standards , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Family , Health Care Rationing/standards , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Police/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , United States/epidemiology , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data
11.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 17(9): 2903-2913, 2021 09 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236181

ABSTRACT

The current study examines differences between COVID-19 vaccine intention and delay. A survey was administered to 585 US respondents in late November 2020 as part of an online longitudinal study. Respondents provided information on whether they would obtain a COVID-19 vaccine, once available, and how long they intended to wait before obtaining it. In the negative intention group, 3.4% reported waiting a few weeks, 34.0% waiting a few months, and 62.6% never getting vaccinated. In multivariable models, social norms were a significant and independent predictor of all vaccine delay and intention models. Vaccine delay was associated with low levels of worry about becoming infected with COVID-19, political conservatism, concerns about vaccine side effects, and low levels of believing a vaccine would be effective. Negative vaccine intentions were associated with worries about becoming infected with COVID-19, concerns about vaccine side effects, beliefs that the vaccines were developed too quickly, and low endorsement of the altruistic belief that older people should have vaccination priority. The study results highlight the importance of a multifactorial approach to assessing vaccine attitudes. The findings suggest that uptake programs should focus on enhancing pro-vaccine norms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Intention , Longitudinal Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , Vaccination
12.
J Health Commun ; 25(10): 764-773, 2020 10 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236155

ABSTRACT

We conducted a longitidinal assessment of 806 respondents in March, 2020 in the US to examine the trustworthiness of sources of information about COVID-19. Respondents were recontacted after four months. Information sources included mainstream media, state health departments, the CDC, the White House, and a well-known university. We also examined how demographics, political partisanship, and skepticism about COVID-19 were associated with the perceived trustworthiness of information sources and decreased trustworthiness over time. At baseline, the majority of respondants reported high trust in COVID-19 information from state health departments (75.6%), the CDC (80.9%), and a university (Johns Hopkins, 81.1%). Mainstream media was trusted by less than half the respondents (41.2%), and the White House was the least trusted source (30.9%). At the 4-month follow-up, a significant decrease in trustworthiness in all five sources of COVID-19 information was observed. The most pronounced reductions were from the CDC and the White House. In multivariate analyses, factors associated with rating the CDC, state health department, and a university as trustworthy sources of COVID-19 information were political party affiliation, level of education, and skepticism about COVID-19. The most consistent predictor of decreased trust was political party affiliation, with Democrats as compared to Republicans less likely to report decreased trust across all sources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Health Communication , Trust , Adult , Educational Status , Government , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Mass Media , Politics , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
13.
Int J Drug Policy ; 95: 103301, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1230435

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The distribution of resources during the COVID-19 pandemic has been politicized and contentious in the United States. Vulnerable populations, such as those living in poverty, experiencing homelessness, or who use drugs, are particularly susceptible to becoming infected with COVID-19 and often have limited access to protective supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer. Our aim was to understand public opinion on increasing the allocation of COVID-19 prevention resources to vulnerable populations. METHODS: Data were from an online survey of 680 United States adults. Participants' opinions on the allocation of COVID-19 prevention resources to people with low income, experiencing homelessness, or who use drugs were assessed using a five-item Likert scale. We examined the prevalence of these opinions and their relationship to sociodemographic characteristics, COVID-19 beliefs, and drug-related experiences. RESULTS: Most participants supported increasing resources for individuals with low incomes (79.6%) and experiencing homelessness (74.6%), while a minority supported increasing resources for people who use drugs (33.5%). Politically conservative participants were less likely to support increasing resources for all three populations than those who were politically liberal. Skepticism about the severity of COVID-19 was also associated with less support for increasing resources across groups. DISCUSSION: Our results demonstrate that people who use drugs continue to be stigmatized in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in popular opinion not supporting people who use drugs with potentially lifesaving resources. Overcoming this stigma is essential to prevent COVID-19 among people who use drugs, a population which experiences elevated risk of COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Adult , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Vulnerable Populations
14.
J Community Psychol ; 49(5): 1487-1504, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1206769

ABSTRACT

We sought to develop a brief Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2-related worry (CoV-Wo) scale to understand COVID-19-related worry among adults in the United States. We also aimed to model key determinants of worry in the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. A total of 806 participants completed an online survey in late March 2020. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses assessed scale structure. Factor analysis stratified by depression was used to assess measurement invariance. Linear regression models examined COVID-19-related worry determinants. The CoV-Wo scale exhibited good reliability (α = 0.80) and a two-factor structure: health (α = 0.83) and resources (α = 0.71). The full scale and both subscales were higher among participants who stopped working due to COVID-19 and those with depression. Perception of quality medical care if infected with COVID-19 was associated with reduced worry. The CoV-Wo scale is a low burden assessment of COVID-19-related worry, that captures common worries in domains affected by COVID-19 and can be used to develop psychosocial resources.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Depression/epidemiology , Employment/statistics & numerical data , Psychometrics/instrumentation , Socioeconomic Factors , Adult , Anxiety/etiology , Female , Health Surveys , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Quality of Health Care , United States/epidemiology
15.
Behav Sci (Basel) ; 11(4)2021 Apr 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194608

ABSTRACT

There is a critical need for the public to have trusted sources of vaccine information. A longitudinal online study assessed trust in COVID-19 vaccine information from 10 sources. A factor analysis for data reduction revealed two factors. The first factor contained politically conservative sources (PCS) of information. The second factor included eight news sources representing mainstream sources (MS). Multivariable logistic regression models were used. Trust in Dr. Fauci was also examined. High trust in MS was associated with intention to encourage family members to get COVID-19 vaccines, altruistic beliefs that more vulnerable people should have vaccine priority, and belief that racial minorities with higher rates of COVID-19 deaths should have priority. High trust in PCS was associated with intention to discourage friends from getting vaccinated. Higher trust in PCS was also associated with participants more likely to disagree that minorities with higher rates of COVID-19 deaths should have priority for a vaccine. High trust in Dr. Fauci as a source of COVID-19 vaccine information was associated with factors similar to high trust in MS. Fair, equitable, and transparent access and distribution are essential to ensure trust in public health systems' abilities to serve the population.

16.
Vaccine ; 39(16): 2288-2294, 2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1127056

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is a major obstacle for pandemic mitigation. As vaccine hesitancy occurs along multiple dimensions, we used a social-ecological framework to guide the examination of COVID-19 vaccine intentions. METHODS: Using an online survey in the US conducted in July 2020, we examined intentions to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine, once available. 592 respondents provided data, including measures of demographics, vaccine history, social norms, perceived risk, and trust in sources of COVID-19 information. Bivariate and multivariate multinomial models were used to compare respondents who intended to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to respondents who did not intend or were ambivalent about COVID-19 vaccination. RESULTS: Only 59.1% of the sample reported that they intended to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine. In the multivariate multinomial model, those respondents who did not intend to be vaccinated, as compared to those who did, had significantly lower levels of trust in the CDC as a source of COVID-19 information (aOR = 0.29, CI = 0.17-0.50), reported lower social norms of COVID-19 preventive behaviors (aOR = 0.67, CI 0.51-0.88), scored higher on COVID-19 Skepticism (aOR = 1.44, CI = 1.28-1.61), identified as more politically conservative (aOR = 1.23, CI = 1.05-1.45), were less likely to have obtained a flu vaccine in the prior year (aOR = 0.21, CI = 0.11-0.39), were less likely to be female (aOR = 0.51, CI = 0.29-0.87), and were much more likely to be Black compared to White (aOR = 10.70, CI = 4.09-28.1). A highly similar pattern was observed among those who were ambivalent about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine compared to those who intended to receive one. CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest several avenues for COVID-19 vaccine promotion campaigns, including social network diffusion strategies and cross-partisan messaging, to promote vaccine trust. The racial and gender differences in vaccine intentions also suggest the need to tailor campaigns based on gender and race.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Intention , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , United States
18.
Curr Psychol ; : 1-9, 2021 Jan 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1018496

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 skepticism can be conceptualized as the denial of the seriousness of the illness and the perception that the pandemic is overblown or a hoax. In the current study, we examined the association between COVID-19 skepticism and frequency of engaging in COVID-19 prevention behaviors, political ideology, social norms about distancing, COVID-19 information-seeking behaviors, and COVID-19 conspiracy theories. A survey was administered from May 5th-14th. At that time, there were over 1 million COVID-19 cases in the US. Participants were recruited online through MTurk. The three outcome variables were handwashing, mask wearing, and social distancing. Injunctive and descriptive norms were assessed as well as measures of perceived risk to self and others. There were 683 participants in the analyses. In the multiple logistic regression model, those who were of younger age (aOR = 0.97, p < 0.05), better health (aOR = 0.56, p < 0.01), and more politically conservative (aOR = 1.32, p < 0.01) were more likely to endorse COVID-19 skepticism statements. People who reported higher Skepticism were also less likely to that believe people close to them would die from COVID-19 (aOR = 4.2, p < 0.01), engage in COVID-19 prevention behaviors, including spending time inside to prevent coronavirus (aOR = 0.33, p < 0.01) and frequently wear a mask outside (aOR = 0.44, p < 0.01). Those who were more skeptical about COVID-19 were also more likely to believe the conspiracy theory that China purposefully spread the virus (aOR = 6.38 p < 0.01). COVID-19 Skepticism was strongly associated with reduced engagement in COVID-19 prevention behaviors. These findings bolster the arguments for making these public health recommendations mandatory.

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