College Students’ Perceptions of How Others Impact Their Perceptions and Behaviors Related to Contagious Illnesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:Covid-19 Behaviors and Perceptions, Contagious Illnesses, Safety Habits, College Students
This study explored college students' perceptions about the influence of parents, friends, significant others, and media influencers on behaviors related to contracting contagious illnesses including COVID-19. Forty college students participated in qualitative interviews at one Midwestern university. Open coding, using a grounded theory approach, was used to determine key themes. Results indicated the majority of participants perceived parents and significant others as positive influences who followed safety precautions related to preventing illnesses (e.g., wore masks). Friends and media influencers were perceived as both positive and negative influences (e.g., did not wear masks). Results provide guidance for COVID-19 prevention messaging and interventions.
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