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Trust in government regarding COVID-19 and its associations with preventive health behaviour and prosocial behaviour during the pandemic: a cross-sectional and longitudinal study

Han, Qing, Zheng, Bang, Cristea, Mioara, Agostini, Maximilian, Belanger, Jocelyn, Gutzkow, Ben, Kreienkamp, Jannis, PsyCorona, Collaboration, Abakoumkin, Georgios, Abdul Khaiyom, Jamilah H. B., and others. (2021) Trust in government regarding COVID-19 and its associations with preventive health behaviour and prosocial behaviour during the pandemic: a cross-sectional and longitudinal study. Psychological Medicine, . ISSN 0033-2917. (doi:10.1017/S0033291721001306) (KAR id:87370)

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https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291721001306

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 ingovernment regarding COVID-19 control with the adoption of recommended health behaviours and prosocial behaviours, and potential determinants of trust in government duringthe pandemic.Methods. This study analysed data from the PsyCorona Survey, an international project onCOVID-19 that included 23 733 participants from 23 countries (representative in age andgender distributions by country) at baseline survey and 7785 participants who also completedfollow-up surveys. Specification curve analysis was used to examine concurrent associationsbetween 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 associatedwith higher adoption of health behaviours (handwashing, avoiding crowded space, self-quarantine) and prosocial behaviours in specification curve analyses (median standardised β =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 withtrust in government (standardised β = 0.358, 0.230, 0.056, and 0.249, p < 0.01). Higher trustat baseline survey was significantly associated with lower rate of decline in health behavioursover time ( p for interaction = 0.001).Conclusions. These results highlighted the importance of trust in government in the control of Covid-19.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S0033291721001306
Projects: [UNSPECIFIED] PsyCorona
Uncontrolled keywords: Covid, trust, Government, health pscyhology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Robbie Sutton
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2021 21:51 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2021 15:36 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/87370 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Douglas, Karen: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0381-6924
Sutton, Robbie M.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1542-1716
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