Publications by authors named "Rana Alhawtan"

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Do socio-structural factors moderate the effects of health cognitions on COVID-19 protection behaviours?

Soc Sci Med 2021 09 23;285:114261. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

University of Sheffield, UK.

Objective: Adherence to protection behaviours remains key to curbing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, but there are substantial differences in individual adherence to recommendations according to socio-structural factors. To better understand such differences, the current research examines whether relationships between health cognitions based on the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA) and eight COVID-19 protection behaviours vary as a function of participant-level socio-structural factors.

Methods: Within-person design with behaviours nested within participants in a two-wave online survey (one week delay) conducted during the UK national lockdown in April 2020. A UK representative sample of 477 adults completed baseline measures from the RAA plus perceived susceptibility and past behaviour for eight protection behaviours, and self-reported behaviour one week later. Moderated hierarchical linear models with cross-level interactions were used to test moderation of health cognitions by socio-structural factors (sex, age, ethnicity, deprivation).

Results: Sex, ethnicity and deprivation moderated the effects of health cognitions on protection intentions and behaviour. For example, the effects of injunctive norms on intentions were stronger in men compared to women. Importantly, intention was a weaker predictor of behaviour in more compared to less deprived groups. In addition, there was evidence that perceived autonomy was a stronger predictor of behaviour in more deprived groups.

Conclusion: Socio-structural variables affect how health cognitions relate to recommended COVID-19 protection behaviours. As a result, behavioural interventions based on social-cognitive theories might be less effective in participants from disadvantaged backgrounds.
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September 2021