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2.
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.

3.
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
4.
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.

5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315080

ABSTRACT

The current research examined the role of values in guiding people’s responses to COVID-19. Results from an international study involving 115 countries (N = 61,490) suggest that health and economic threats of COVID-19 evoke different values, with implications for controlling and coping with the pandemic. Specifically, health threats evoked prioritization of communal values related to caring for others and belonging, whereas economic threats predicted prioritization of agentic values focused on competition and achievement. Concurrently and over time, prioritizing communal values over agentic values was associated with enactment of prevention behaviors that reduce virus transmission, motivations to help others suffering from the pandemic, and positive attitudes toward outgroup members. These results, which were generally consistent across individual and national levels of analysis, suggest that COVID-19 threats may indirectly shape important responses to the pandemic through their influence on people’s prioritization of communion and agency. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

6.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311948

ABSTRACT

Previous studies suggested that public trust in government is vital for implementations of social policies that rely on public's behavioural responses. This study examined associations of trust in government regarding COVID-19 control with recommended health behaviours and prosocial behaviours. Data from an international survey with representative samples (N=23,733) of 23 countries were analysed. Specification curve analysis showed that higher trust in government was significantly associated with higher adoption of health and prosocial behaviours in all reasonable specifications of multilevel linear models (median standardised β=0.173 and 0.244, P<0.001). We further used structural equation modelling to explore potential determinants of trust in government regarding pandemic control. Governments perceived as well organised, disseminating clear messages and knowledge on COVID-19, and perceived fairness were positively associated with trust in government (standardised β=0.358, 0.230, 0.055, and 0.250, P<0.01). These results highlighted the importance of trust in government in the control of COVID-19.

7.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323184

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus is highly infectious and potentially deadly. In the absence of a cure or a vaccine, the infection prevention behaviors recommended by the World Health Organization constitute the only measure that is presently available to combat the pandemic. The unprecedented impact of this pandemic calls for swift identification of factors most important for predicting infection prevention behavior. In this paper, we used a machine learning approach to assess the relative importance of potential indicators of personal infection prevention behavior in a global psychological survey we conducted between March-May 2020 (N = 56,072 across 28 countries). The survey data were enriched with society-level variables relevant to the pandemic. Results indicated that the two most important indicators of self-reported infection prevention behavior were individual-level injunctive norms—beliefs that people in the community should engage in social distancing and self-isolation, followed by endorsement of restrictive containment measures (e.g., mandatory vaccination). Society-level factors (e.g., national healthcare infrastructure, confirmed infections) also emerged as important indicators. Social attitudes and norms were more important than personal factors considered most important by theories of health behavior. The model accounted for 52% of the variance in infection prevention behavior in a separate test sample—above the performance of psychological models of health behavior. These results suggest that individuals are intuitively aware that this pandemic constitutes a social dilemma situation, where their own infection risk is partly dependent on the behaviors of others. If everybody engaged in infection prevention behavior, the virus could be defeated even without a vaccine.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-320211

ABSTRACT

Cross-societal differences in cooperation and trust among strangers in the provision of public goods may be key to understanding how societies are managing the COVID-19 pandemic. We report a survey conducted across 41 societies between March and May 2020 (N = 34,526), and test pre-registered hypotheses about how cross-societal differences in cooperation and trust relate to prosocial COVID-19 responses (e.g., social distancing), stringency of policies, and support for behavioral regulations (e.g., mandatory quarantine). We further tested whether cross-societal variation in institutions and ecologies theorized to impact cooperation were associated with prosocial COVID-19 responses, including institutional quality, religiosity, and historical prevalence of pathogens. We found substantial variation across societies in prosocial COVID-19 responses, stringency of policies, and support for behavioral regulation. However, we found no consistent evidence to support the idea that cross-societal variation in cooperation and trust among strangers is associated with these outcomes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These results were replicated with another independent cross-cultural COVID-19 dataset (N = 112,136), and in both snowball and representative samples. We discuss implications of our results, including challenging the assumption that managing the COVID-19 pandemic across societies is best modelled as a public goods dilemma.

9.
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.

10.
Transl Behav Med ; 12(2): 284-290, 2022 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626747

ABSTRACT

Understanding how individual beliefs and societal values influence support for measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission is vital to developing and implementing effective prevention policies. Using both Just World Theory and Cultural Dimensions Theory, the present study considered how individual-level justice beliefs and country-level social values predict support for vaccination and quarantine policy mandates to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Data from an international survey of adults from 46 countries (N = 6424) were used to evaluate how individual-level beliefs about justice for self and others, as well as national values-that is, power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, long-term orientation, and indulgence-influence support for vaccination and quarantine behavioral mandates. Multilevel modeling revealed that support for vaccination and quarantine mandates were positively associated with individual-level beliefs about justice for self, and negatively associated with country-level uncertainty avoidance. Significant cross-level interactions revealed that beliefs about justice for self were associated more strongly with support for mandatory vaccination in countries high in individualism, whereas beliefs about justice for others were more strongly associated with support for vaccination and quarantine mandates in countries high in long-term orientation. Beliefs about justice and cultural values can independently and also interactively influence support for evidence-based practices to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, such as vaccination and quarantine. Understanding these multilevel influences may inform efforts to develop and implement effective prevention policies in varied national contexts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Quarantine , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Justice , Vaccination
11.
J Soc Psychol ; : 1-18, 2021 Dec 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585623

ABSTRACT

The current research examined the role of values in guiding people's responses to COVID-19. Results from an international study involving 115 countries (N = 61,490) suggest that health and economic threats of COVID-19 evoke different values, with implications for controlling and coping with the pandemic. Specifically, health threats predicted prioritization of communal values related to caring for others and belonging, whereas economic threats predicted prioritization of agentic values focused on competition and achievement. Concurrently and over time, prioritizing communal values over agentic values was associated with enactment of prevention behaviors that reduce virus transmission, motivations to help others suffering from the pandemic, and positive attitudes toward outgroup members. These results, which were generally consistent across individual and national levels of analysis, suggest that COVID-19 threats may indirectly shape important responses to the pandemic through their influence on people's prioritization of communion and agency. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

12.
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.

13.
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
14.
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.

15.
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
16.
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
17.
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology ; : 0022022120988913, 2021.
Article in English | Sage | ID: covidwho-1186439

ABSTRACT

Cross-societal differences in cooperation and trust among strangers in the provision of public goods may be key to understanding how societies are managing the COVID-19 pandemic. We report a survey conducted across 41 societies between March and May 2020 (N?=?34,526), and test pre-registered hypotheses about how cross-societal differences in cooperation and trust relate to prosocial COVID-19 responses (e.g., social distancing), stringency of policies, and support for behavioral regulations (e.g., mandatory quarantine). We further tested whether cross-societal variation in institutions and ecologies theorized to impact cooperation were associated with prosocial COVID-19 responses, including institutional quality, religiosity, and historical prevalence of pathogens. We found substantial variation across societies in prosocial COVID-19 responses, stringency of policies, and support for behavioral regulations. However, we found no consistent evidence to support the idea that cross-societal variation in cooperation and trust among strangers is associated with these outcomes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These results were replicated with another independent cross-cultural COVID-19 dataset (N?=?112,136), and in both snowball and representative samples. We discuss implications of our results, including challenging the assumption that managing the COVID-19 pandemic across societies is best modeled as a public goods dilemma.

18.
Psychol Med ; : 1-11, 2021 Mar 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1152768

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The effective implementation of government policies and measures for controlling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic requires compliance from the public. This study aimed to examine cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of trust in government regarding COVID-19 control with the adoption of recommended health behaviours and prosocial behaviours, and potential determinants of trust in government during the pandemic. METHODS: This study analysed data from the PsyCorona Survey, an international project on COVID-19 that included 23 733 participants from 23 countries (representative in age and gender distributions by country) at baseline survey and 7785 participants who also completed follow-up surveys. Specification curve analysis was used to examine concurrent associations between trust in government and self-reported behaviours. We further used structural equation model to explore potential determinants of trust in government. Multilevel linear regressions were used to examine associations between baseline trust and longitudinal behavioural changes. RESULTS: Higher trust in government regarding COVID-19 control was significantly associated with higher adoption of health behaviours (handwashing, avoiding crowded space, self-quarantine) and prosocial behaviours in specification curve analyses (median standardised ß = 0.173 and 0.229, p < 0.001). Government perceived as well organised, disseminating clear messages and knowledge on COVID-19, and perceived fairness were positively associated with trust in government (standardised ß = 0.358, 0.230, 0.056, and 0.249, p < 0.01). Higher trust at baseline survey was significantly associated with lower rate of decline in health behaviours over time (p for interaction = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: These results highlighted the importance of trust in government in the control of COVID-19.

19.
Pers Individ Dif ; 171: 110535, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1047768

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic presents threats, such as severe disease and economic hardship, to people of different ages. These threats can also be experienced asymmetrically across age groups, which could lead to generational differences in behavioral responses to reduce the spread of the disease. We report a survey conducted across 56 societies (N = 58,641), and tested pre-registered hypotheses about how age relates to (a) perceived personal costs during the pandemic, (b) prosocial COVID-19 responses (e.g., social distancing), and (c) support for behavioral regulations (e.g., mandatory quarantine, vaccination). We further tested whether the relation between age and prosocial COVID-19 responses can be explained by perceived personal costs during the pandemic. Overall, we found that older people perceived more costs of contracting the virus, but less costs in daily life due to the pandemic. However, age displayed no clear, robust associations with prosocial COVID-19 responses and support for behavioral regulations. We discuss the implications of this work for understanding the potential intergenerational conflicts of interest that could occur during the COVID-19 pandemic.

20.
J Affect Disord ; 284: 247-255, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1046352

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although there are increasing concerns on mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, no large-scale population-based studies have examined the associations of risk perception of COVID-19 with emotion and subsequent mental health. METHODS: This study analysed cross-sectional and longitudinal data from the PsyCorona Survey that included 54,845 participants from 112 countries, of which 23,278 participants are representative samples of 24 countries in terms of gender and age. Specification curve analysis (SCA) was used to examine associations of risk perception of COVID-19 with emotion and self-rated mental health. This robust method considers all reasonable model specifications to avoid subjective analytical decisions while accounting for multiple testing. RESULTS: All 162 multilevel linear regressions in the SCA indicated that higher risk perception of COVID-19 was significantly associated with less positive or more negative emotions (median standardised ß=-0.171, median SE=0.004, P<0.001). Specifically, regressions involving economic risk perception and negative emotions revealed stronger associations. Moreover, risk perception at baseline survey was inversely associated with subsequent mental health (standardised ß=-0.214, SE=0.029, P<0.001). We further used SCA to explore whether this inverse association was mediated by emotional distress. Among the 54 multilevel linear regressions of mental health on risk perception and emotion, 42 models showed a strong mediation effect, where no significant direct effect of risk perception was found after controlling for emotion (P>0.05). LIMITATIONS: Reliance on self-reported data. CONCLUSIONS: Risk perception of COVID-19 was associated with emotion and ultimately mental health. Interventions on reducing excessive risk perception and managing emotional distress could promote mental health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emotions , Humans , Mental Health , Perception , SARS-CoV-2
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