School of Psychology, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York, 11530, The United States of America
COVID-19 spreads across China and other countries in a matter of weeks. It is uncertain how people response towards health-protective behaviors in this pandemic. This study aims to evaluate the influence of information sources on situation awareness to adopt health-protective behaviors such as hand hygiene, face-mask use, and social distancing. In total, 288 Chinese completed a questionnaire in July 2020. Data on health-protective behaviors, trust in (formal/informal) information, understanding, perceived susceptibility, and worry were collected. Structural equation model (SEM) was used to identify associations between trust in different information sources, situation awareness and health-protective behaviors. Results suggest that trust in formal information was associated with greater reported understanding of COVID-19 (β=0.33), which in turn was associated with more social distancing (β=0.10). Trust in formal information was inversely associated with perceived susceptibility (β=-0.29), which in turn was negatively associated with social distancing (β=-0.24). Trust in informal information has a positive association with worry (β=0.12), which was positively associated with face-mask use (β=0.22).Trust in informal information was inversely associated with understanding of COVID-19 (β=-0.27), which was positively associated with hand hygiene (β=0.15). Therefore, it can be concluded that trust in formal information was more strongly associated with greater understanding of COVID-19 and social distancing, whereas trust in informal information was strongly associated with worry and face-mask use. Trust in formal information was also associated with less perceived susceptibility and less social distancing.
COVID-19, information trust, situation awareness, health-protective behaviors
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