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1.
Prev Med Rep ; 27: 101764, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747639

ABSTRACT

Anxiety associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and home confinement has been associated with adverse health behaviors, such as unhealthy eating, smoking, and drinking. However, most studies have been limited by regional sampling, which precludes the examination of behavioral consequences associated with the pandemic at a global level. Further, few studies operationalized pandemic-related stressors to enable the investigation of the impact of different types of stressors on health outcomes. This study examined the association between perceived risk of COVID-19 infection and economic burden of COVID-19 with health-promoting and health-damaging behaviors using data from the PsyCorona Study: an international, longitudinal online study of psychological and behavioral correlates of COVID-19. Analyses utilized data from 7,402 participants from 86 countries across three waves of assessment between May 16 and June 13, 2020. Participants completed self-report measures of COVID-19 infection risk, COVID-19-related economic burden, physical exercise, diet quality, cigarette smoking, sleep quality, and binge drinking. Multilevel structural equation modeling analyses showed that across three time points, perceived economic burden was associated with reduced diet quality and sleep quality, as well as increased smoking. Diet quality and sleep quality were lowest among respondents who perceived high COVID-19 infection risk combined with high economic burden. Neither binge drinking nor exercise were associated with perceived COVID-19 infection risk, economic burden, or their interaction. Findings point to the value of developing interventions to address COVID-related stressors, which have an impact on health behaviors that, in turn, may influence vulnerability to COVID-19 and other health outcomes.

2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 3824, 2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735265

ABSTRACT

The present paper examines longitudinally how subjective perceptions about COVID-19, one's community, and the government predict adherence to public health measures to reduce the spread of the virus. Using an international survey (N = 3040), we test how infection risk perception, trust in the governmental response and communications about COVID-19, conspiracy beliefs, social norms on distancing, tightness of culture, and community punishment predict various containment-related attitudes and behavior. Autoregressive analyses indicate that, at the personal level, personal hygiene behavior was predicted by personal infection risk perception. At social level, social distancing behaviors such as abstaining from face-to-face contact were predicted by perceived social norms. Support for behavioral mandates was predicted by confidence in the government and cultural tightness, whereas support for anti-lockdown protests was predicted by (lower) perceived clarity of communication about the virus. Results are discussed in light of policy implications and creating effective interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Guideline Adherence , Health Behavior , Public Health , Attitude , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Norms , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
Patterns (N Y) ; 3(4): 100482, 2022 Apr 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730022

ABSTRACT

Before vaccines for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) became available, a set of infection-prevention behaviors constituted the primary means to mitigate the virus spread. Our study aimed to identify important predictors of this set of behaviors. Whereas social and health psychological theories suggest a limited set of predictors, machine-learning analyses can identify correlates from a larger pool of candidate predictors. We used random forests to rank 115 candidate correlates of infection-prevention behavior in 56,072 participants across 28 countries, administered in March to May 2020. The machine-learning model predicted 52% of the variance in infection-prevention behavior in a separate test sample-exceeding the performance of psychological models of health behavior. Results indicated the two most important predictors related to individual-level injunctive norms. Illustrating how data-driven methods can complement theory, some of the most important predictors were not derived from theories of health behavior-and some theoretically derived predictors were relatively unimportant.

4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(4)2022 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708903

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis that requires individuals to comply with many health-protective behaviors. Following the previous literature, cultural tightness has been found to be a key mechanism to increase coordination in order to mitigate collective threats (e.g., COVID-19). In this study, we test a moderated mediation model to examine whether the perceived COVID-19 threat could intensify the extent of desired tightness (i.e., a personal desire for cultural tightness), moderated by age. Subsequently, we test whether this could intensify individuals' emotional reactions to non-compliance with COVID-19 health protective behaviors. The study relies on a cross-sectional design, with a sample of 624 participants residing in central Italy (i.e., Lazio). The data were collected from February to October 2021. Questionnaires contained self-reporting measures of the perceived COVID-19 threat, desired tightness, and personal emotional reactions to non-compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures (e.g., wearing a mask). The results confirm that the perceived COVID-19 threat is associated with an increase in the desire for cultural tightness-and that this relationship was moderated by age-and, consequently, with intolerance for noncompliance with preventive behaviors. Additionally, both direct and indirect effects of the perceived COVID-19 threat on negative emotional reactions to noncompliance were significant; this indirect effect was larger at high (+1 SD) age than at low (-1 SD) age. Overall, this research provides some insight into how people can respond to the current pandemic threat, and how this may have implications for violating rules and regulations to keep contagion under control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
Health Commun ; : 1-10, 2022 Jan 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655861

ABSTRACT

Understanding the determinants of COVID-19 vaccine uptake is important to inform policy decisions and plan vaccination campaigns. The aims of this research were to: (1) explore the individual- and country-level determinants of intentions to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, and (2) examine worldwide variation in vaccination intentions. This cross-sectional online survey was conducted during the first wave of the pandemic, involving 6697 respondents across 20 countries. Results showed that 72.9% of participants reported positive intentions to be vaccinated against COVID-19, whereas 16.8% were undecided, and 10.3% reported they would not be vaccinated. At the individual level, prosociality was a significant positive predictor of vaccination intentions, whereas generic beliefs in conspiracy theories and religiosity were negative predictors. Country-level determinants, including cultural dimensions of individualism/collectivism and power distance, were not significant predictors of vaccination intentions. Altogether, this study identifies individual-level predictors that are common across multiple countries, provides further evidence on the importance of combating conspiracy theories, involving religious institutions in vaccination campaigns, and stimulating prosocial motives to encourage vaccine uptake.

6.
Curr Res Ecol Soc Psychol ; 3: 100028, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560426

ABSTRACT

Tightening social norms is thought to be adaptive for dealing with collective threat yet it may have negative consequences for increasing prejudice. The present research investigated the role of desire for cultural tightness, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, in increasing negative attitudes towards immigrants. We used participant-level data from 41 countries (N = 55,015) collected as part of the PsyCorona project, a cross-national longitudinal study on responses to COVID-19. Our predictions were tested through multilevel and SEM models, treating participants as nested within countries. Results showed that people's concern with COVID-19 threat was related to greater desire for tightness which, in turn, was linked to more negative attitudes towards immigrants. These findings were followed up with a longitudinal model (N = 2,349) which also showed that people's heightened concern with COVID-19 in an earlier stage of the pandemic was associated with an increase in their desire for tightness and negative attitudes towards immigrants later in time. Our findings offer insight into the trade-offs that tightening social norms under collective threat has for human groups.

7.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0256740, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477523

ABSTRACT

During the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. conservative politicians and the media downplayed the risk of both contracting COVID-19 and the effectiveness of recommended health behaviors. Health behavior theories suggest perceived vulnerability to a health threat and perceived effectiveness of recommended health-protective behaviors determine motivation to follow recommendations. Accordingly, we predicted that-as a result of politicization of the pandemic-politically conservative Americans would be less likely to enact recommended health-protective behaviors. In two longitudinal studies of U.S. residents, political conservatism was inversely associated with perceived health risk and adoption of health-protective behaviors over time. The effects of political orientation on health-protective behaviors were mediated by perceived risk of infection, perceived severity of infection, and perceived effectiveness of the health-protective behaviors. In a global cross-national analysis, effects were stronger in the U.S. (N = 10,923) than in an international sample (total N = 51,986), highlighting the increased and overt politicization of health behaviors in the U.S.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Behavior , Motivation , Pandemics/prevention & control , Politics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged
8.
J Community Appl Soc Psychol ; 32(2): 332-347, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1460153

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a global health crisis. Consequently, many countries have adopted restrictive measures that caused a substantial change in society. Within this framework, it is reasonable to suppose that a sentiment of societal discontent, defined as generalized concern about the precarious state of society, has arisen. Literature shows that collectively experienced situations can motivate people to help each other. Since societal discontent is conceptualized as a collective phenomenon, we argue that it could influence intention to help others, particularly those who suffer from coronavirus. Thus, in the present study, we aimed (a) to explore the relationship between societal discontent and intention to help at the individual level and (b) to investigate a possible moderating effect of societal discontent at the country level on this relationship. To fulfil our purposes, we used data collected in 42 countries (N = 61,734) from the PsyCorona Survey, a cross-national longitudinal study. Results of multilevel analysis showed that, when societal discontent is experienced by the entire community, individuals dissatisfied with society are more prone to help others. Testing the model with longitudinal data (N = 3,817) confirmed our results. Implications for those findings are discussed in relation to crisis management. Please refer to the Supplementary Material section to find this article's Community and Social Impact Statement.

9.
Front Psychol ; 12: 713952, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448805

ABSTRACT

When ecological threats are more severe or prevalent, societies are more likely to tighten their social norms and punishments. Moreover, when people follow clear and tight rules, they are more prone to regulate their behavior (i.e., self-control) in order to avoid punishment. Therefore, we examined the mediating role of people's endorsement of cultural tightness (i.e., support and desire) on the relationship between concern with COVID-19 threat and personal self-control. Our hypothesis was tested through a mediation model in two studies with a sample of (N=315, 77.1% females, M age=23.71) university students (Study 1) and with a heterogeneous sample of (N=239, 65.7% females, M age=36.55) participants (Study 2). Empirical support for the proposed model was found in both studies. Implications of this research will be discussed. The main implication is related to the possibility that people's desire for strong norms to cope with the COVID-19 threat could promote greater self-regulated preventive behavior in order to protect their health.

10.
Pers Soc Psychol Bull ; 48(9): 1315-1330, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374040

ABSTRACT

We examine how social contacts and feelings of solidarity shape experiences of loneliness during the COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020. From the PsyCorona database, we obtained longitudinal data from 23 countries, collected between March and May 2020. The results demonstrated that although online contacts help to reduce feelings of loneliness, people who feel more lonely are less likely to use that strategy. Solidarity played only a small role in shaping feelings of loneliness during lockdown. Thus, it seems we must look beyond the current focus on online contact and solidarity to help people address feelings of loneliness during lockdown. Finally, online contacts did not function as a substitute for face-to-face contacts outside the home-in fact, more frequent online contact in earlier weeks predicted more frequent face-to-face contacts in later weeks. As such, this work provides relevant insights into how individuals manage the impact of restrictions on their social lives.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Loneliness , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Longitudinal Studies
11.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 9669, 2021 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219752

ABSTRACT

This paper examines whether compliance with COVID-19 mitigation measures is motivated by wanting to save lives or save the economy (or both), and which implications this carries to fight the pandemic. National representative samples were collected from 24 countries (N = 25,435). The main predictors were (1) perceived risk to contract coronavirus, (2) perceived risk to suffer economic losses due to coronavirus, and (3) their interaction effect. Individual and country-level variables were added as covariates in multilevel regression models. We examined compliance with various preventive health behaviors and support for strict containment policies. Results show that perceived economic risk consistently predicted mitigation behavior and policy support-and its effects were positive. Perceived health risk had mixed effects. Only two significant interactions between health and economic risk were identified-both positive.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Employment , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Health Behavior , Health Status , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Perception , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Work
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