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COVID-19 Protective Behaviors: The Role of Living Arrangements and Localities

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Who follows #COVID19 guidelines? We show that adults who live alone or in #rural localities are less likely to adopt #COVID19 protective measures.

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Cohn-Schwartz, E., & Ayalon, L. (2021). COVID-19 protective behaviors: The role of living arrangements and localities. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 0733464821992611.


Guided by the human-ecological model, we aimed to identify contextual factors related to protective behaviors during the COVID-19 outbreak. Method: Data are based on a nationally representative survey of adults aged 50+ in Israel during the COVID-19 outbreak (N = 1,019). Regression models predicted three behaviors: using hand sanitizers and masks, stocking up food, and avoiding social meetings. The independent variables were living arrangements (microsystems) and type of localities (macrosystems).

Participants who lived alone or lived in rural localities were less likely to adopt COVID-19 protective measures. Policy makers should pay particular attention to adults who live alone or live in rural areas as they might be less likely to adopt protective behaviors and face higher health risks during the pandemic.

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