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Appears in Collections:Computing Science and Mathematics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Protection motivation theory and social distancing behaviour in response to a simulated infectious disease epidemic
Authors: Williams, Lynn
Rasmussen, Susan
Kleczkowski, Adam
Maharaj, Savi
Cairns, Nicole
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Keywords: infectious disease
protection motivation
social distancing
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Citation: Williams L, Rasmussen S, Kleczkowski A, Maharaj S & Cairns N (2015) Protection motivation theory and social distancing behaviour in response to a simulated infectious disease epidemic, Psychology, Health and Medicine, 20 (7), pp. 832-837.
Abstract: Epidemics of respiratory infectious disease remain one of the most serious health risks facing the population. Non-pharmaceutical interventions (e.g. hand-washing or wearing face masks) can have a significant impact on the course of an infectious disease epidemic. The current study investigated whether protection motivation theory (PMT) is a useful framework for understanding social distancing behaviour (i.e. the tendency to reduce social contacts) in response to a simulated infectious disease epidemic. There were 230 participants (109 males, 121 females, mean age 32.4years) from the general population who completed self-report measures assessing the components of PMT. In addition, participants completed a computer game which simulated an infectious disease epidemic in order to provide a measure of social distancing behaviour. The regression analyses revealed that none of the PMT variables were significant predictors of social distancing behaviour during the simulation task. However, fear (β=.218,p<.001), response efficacy (β=.175,p<.01) and self-efficacy (β=.251,p<.001) were all significant predictors of intention to engage in social distancing behaviour. Overall, the PMT variables (and demographic factors) explain 21.2% of the variance in intention. The findings demonstrated that PMT was a useful framework for understanding intention to engage in social distancing behaviour, but not actual behaviour during the simulated epidemic. These findings may reflect an intention-behaviour gap in relation to social distancing behaviour.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: University of the West of Scotland
University of Strathclyde
Mathematics - CSM Dept
Computing Science - CSM Dept
University of Strathclyde

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