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Attachment, Personality and Locus of Control: Psychological Determinants of Risk Perception and Preventive Behaviors for COVID-19.


ABSTRACT: Background: The understanding of factors that shape risk perception is crucial to modulate the perceived threat and, in turn, to promote optimal engagement in preventive actions. Methods: An on-line, cross-sectional, survey was conducted in Italy between May and July 2020 to investigate risk perception for COVID-19 and the adoption of preventive measures. A total of 964 volunteers participated in the study. Possible predictors of risk perception were identified through a hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis, including sociodemographic, epidemiological and, most of all, psychological factors. A path analysis was adopted to probe the possible mediating role of risk perception on the relationship between the independent variables considered and the adoption of preventive measures. Results: Focusing on the psychological predictors of risk perception, high levels of anxiety, an anxious attachment, and an external locus of control predicted higher perceived risk. Conversely, high levels of openness personality and of avoidant attachment predicted a lower perception of risk. In turn, the higher was the perceived risk the higher was the adoption of precautionary measures. Furthermore, psychological factors influenced the adoption of preventive behaviors both directly and indirectly through their effect on risk perception. Conclusions: Our findings might be taken into high consideration by stakeholders, who are responsible for promoting a truthful perception of risk and proper compliance with precautionary measures.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC8299752 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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