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Improving Communication with Young Adults regarding COVID-19 Regulations by Combining Self-affirmation and Constructive Learning

Schneider, C.M. (2021) Improving Communication with Young Adults regarding COVID-19 Regulations by Combining Self-affirmation and Constructive Learning.

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Abstract:The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to improve public health communications, in particular with young adults. This study explored new ways to improve such communication, with the goal of increasing young adults’ adherence to COVID-19 related health regulations. Using an online randomized experiment, we tested two interventions designed to increase young adults’ adherence. A self-affirmation task applied Social Cognition Theory to increase young adults’ self-efficacy, while a constructive learning task drew from the ICAP framework to engage young adults in a creative process designed to increase their knowledge of COVID-19 related health regulations. Participants (n=118) were mostly university students between the ages of 18 and 23. A 2x2 crossed design was used in which the participants were randomly assigned to each of the tasks. The hypotheses were tested using multivariate linear mixed-effects models, linear regressions, and an independent t-test. Self-affirmation did not have a significant effect on participants’ self-efficacy or intentions to adhere. The constructive learning task did not increase participants’ knowledge or intentions to adhere significantly. Higher self-efficacy was associated with significantly higher intentions to adhere. The self-affirmation task did not significantly improve participants mood. While none of the intervention changed the expected outcome significantly, this study has indicated that using unstructured constructive learning tasks in a social media setting are not a good way to increase knowledge and change behaviours in young adults when it comes to public health communication.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/88385
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