The impact of gender on emotional reactions, perceived susceptibility and perceived knowledge about COVID-19 among the Israeli public

Inbar Levkovich, Shiri Shinan-Altman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations
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Abstract

Background: The current COVID-19 outbreak is seriously affecting the lives and health of people across the globe. While gender remains a key determinant of health, attempts to address the gendered dimensions of health face complex challenges. Methods: In a cross-sectional study 482 participants (men=237, women=245) completed questionnaires on precautionary behaviour, perceived knowledge about COVID-19 risk factors, emotional reactions toward COVID-19 and perceived susceptibility. We examined gender differences in perceived knowledge about COVID-19 risk factors, healthy behaviours, threat perceptions and emotional responses, as well as the role of gender as a moderating factor. Results: Women reported higher levels of precautionary behaviour (t(475)=3.91, p<0.001) and more negative emotional reactions toward COVID-19 (t(475)=6.07, p<0.001). No gender differences emerged in perceived susceptibility or knowledge about COVID-19. The multiple regression model is significant and explains 30% of the variance in precautionary behaviour, which was found to be higher among women and older participants, those with higher perceived knowledge about COVID-19 risk factors and those with higher emotional reactions. Gender exhibited a significant moderating role in the relationship between perceived knowledge and precautionary behaviour (B=0.16, SE=0.07, β=0.13, p=0.02, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.30). Conclusion: Women exhibited higher levels of precautionary behaviour and emotional responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-561
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Health
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • emotional reactions
  • gender differences
  • perceived knowledge about COVID-19 risk factors
  • perceived susceptibility
  • precautionary behaviour

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