To contain the spread of Covid-19, engagement in protective behaviors across the population is of great importance. The present study investigated protective behavior intentions during the early phases of Covid-19 in Germany (February 2-April 3, 2020) as a function of threat level and age using data from 4,940 participants in the EUCLID project. Results indicated that the intention to engage in social distancing increased sharply with threat level. Intentions for personal hygiene also increased, although to a lesser extent. While age only had a small overall effect on behavioral intentions, differential patterns emerged. After the lockdown was introduced, the impact of age decreased for social distancing and hygiene behavior intentions but increased for seeing a doctor. Since containing the Covid-19 pandemic depends on high adoption rates of protective behaviors, future research should track sustained phases of the pandemic, including the easing of restrictions and possible new waves of infections.
Lages*, N. C., Villinger*, K., Koller, J. E., Brünecke, I., Debbeler, J. M., Engel, K. D., ... & Renner, B. (2021). The relation of threat level and age with protective behavior intentions during Covid-19 in Germany. Health Education & Behavior, doi: 10.1177/1090198121989960. *authors contributed equally