Document Type


Publication Date



Preventing the COVID-19 outbreak primarily depends on individuals’ willingness to adopt social distancing and mask wearing behaviors. However, little is known about what drives individuals to adopt these behaviors. Guided by the Integrative Model of Behavioral Prediction, this study surveyed 590 adults in the US during the early stages of the outbreak to identify factors influencing intentions to practice social distancing and wear masks. Structural equation modeling results show that while attitudes are positively associated with intentions to perform both behaviors, perceived norms are positively associated with intentions to wear masks, and self-efficacy is positively associated with intentions to practice social distancing. Additionally, results indicate that adding personal risk perception and societal risk perception as distal variables increases the model’s predictive power. Results reveal that while social risk perception is positively associated with attitudes, perceived norms, and self-efficacy for both behaviors, personal risk perception is negatively associated with attitudes toward mask wearing, and perceived norms and self-efficacy for both behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


Author accepted manuscript version of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The Social Science Journal


Included in

Communication Commons