Presentation Title

Predicting COVID-19 Preventative Behaviors: The Self-as-Doer Identity and Beliefs in Control Methods

Loading...

Media is loading
 

Abstract

Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a serious threat to the health and safety of people worldwide. It has had a profound physical and psychological toll, requiring many lifestyle changes. People suffering from pandemic-related anxiety tend to exhibit elevated levels of mental health concerns. To slow the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends wearing masks, social distancing, good respiratory hygiene, and vaccinations, but such behaviors require motivation. Previous research indicates that certain attitudes about the disease (i.e., greater perceived susceptibility and severity, more anxiety, greater trust in authorities and the efficacy of recommended behaviors) are associated with greater adherence to recommended behaviors to control the disease, but more work is needed. The self-as-doer identity, a motivational identity which suggests a person will engage in behaviors that they identify with even when the behaviors are difficult, has been shown to predict health behaviors like physical activity and healthy eating and may also predict COVID-19 related behaviors, but researchers have yet to explore this idea. Therefore, we hypothesized that the self-as-doer identity for COVID-19 recommended behaviors would predict engagement of COVID-19 recommended behaviors over and above perceived susceptibility and severity of the disease, anxiety about COVID-19, trust in authorities, and efficacy of recommended behaviors.

Methods: Participants (N=174, Mage = 19.87, SD= 1.86) answered survey questions focused on attitudes about COVID-19 such as perceived severity and susceptibility, anxiety related to COVID, perception of intervention, and trust in authorities. Participants also completed a measure of self-as-doer identity for COVID-19 recommended behaviors. Data were analyzed using a hierarchical linear regression where attitudes about COVID-19 were entered in the first block and self-as-doer identity was entered in the second block.

Results: Self-as-doer identity predicted an additional 21% of the variance in COVID preventative behaviors over and above severity and susceptibility beliefs, anxiety about COVID, trust in authorities, and belief in control methods, (ΔR2=.210, F(1,144)=94.16, p

Discussion: The self-as-doer identity predicted COVID-19 behaviors beyond the known attitudes of this disease. As such, the self-as-doer could be used as a new tool to motivate health behavior engagement for COVID-19 preventative behaviors. In this model, the only other predictor was the belief in control methods. Certain populations may be more willing to exhibit preventative behaviors due to believing their actions will prevent the spread. Future researchers could address the correlational nature of this study by testing a cause-and-effect relationship between the self-as-doer identity and COVID-19 health behaviors.

College

College of Liberal Arts

Department

Psychology

Location

Winona, MN

Breakout Room

7

Start Date

4-14-2021 3:00 PM

End Date

4-14-2021 3:45 PM

Presentation Type

Video (Live-Zoom)

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 14th, 3:00 PM Apr 14th, 3:45 PM

Predicting COVID-19 Preventative Behaviors: The Self-as-Doer Identity and Beliefs in Control Methods

Winona, MN

Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a serious threat to the health and safety of people worldwide. It has had a profound physical and psychological toll, requiring many lifestyle changes. People suffering from pandemic-related anxiety tend to exhibit elevated levels of mental health concerns. To slow the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends wearing masks, social distancing, good respiratory hygiene, and vaccinations, but such behaviors require motivation. Previous research indicates that certain attitudes about the disease (i.e., greater perceived susceptibility and severity, more anxiety, greater trust in authorities and the efficacy of recommended behaviors) are associated with greater adherence to recommended behaviors to control the disease, but more work is needed. The self-as-doer identity, a motivational identity which suggests a person will engage in behaviors that they identify with even when the behaviors are difficult, has been shown to predict health behaviors like physical activity and healthy eating and may also predict COVID-19 related behaviors, but researchers have yet to explore this idea. Therefore, we hypothesized that the self-as-doer identity for COVID-19 recommended behaviors would predict engagement of COVID-19 recommended behaviors over and above perceived susceptibility and severity of the disease, anxiety about COVID-19, trust in authorities, and efficacy of recommended behaviors.

Methods: Participants (N=174, Mage = 19.87, SD= 1.86) answered survey questions focused on attitudes about COVID-19 such as perceived severity and susceptibility, anxiety related to COVID, perception of intervention, and trust in authorities. Participants also completed a measure of self-as-doer identity for COVID-19 recommended behaviors. Data were analyzed using a hierarchical linear regression where attitudes about COVID-19 were entered in the first block and self-as-doer identity was entered in the second block.

Results: Self-as-doer identity predicted an additional 21% of the variance in COVID preventative behaviors over and above severity and susceptibility beliefs, anxiety about COVID, trust in authorities, and belief in control methods, (ΔR2=.210, F(1,144)=94.16, p

Discussion: The self-as-doer identity predicted COVID-19 behaviors beyond the known attitudes of this disease. As such, the self-as-doer could be used as a new tool to motivate health behavior engagement for COVID-19 preventative behaviors. In this model, the only other predictor was the belief in control methods. Certain populations may be more willing to exhibit preventative behaviors due to believing their actions will prevent the spread. Future researchers could address the correlational nature of this study by testing a cause-and-effect relationship between the self-as-doer identity and COVID-19 health behaviors.