Factors influencing the adoption of COVID-19 preventive behaviors in Chile

Nicolás C. Bronfman, Paula B. Repetto, Pamela C. Cisternas, Javiera V. Castañeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic forced people worldwide to implement a series of preventive hygiene and distancing measures that have significantly altered their way of life. This study examined an adapted version of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) on adopting preventive behavior against COVID-19. Data was collected using a web survey completed by 1004 college students a few weeks after the first wave of infections in Chile. Our findings show that the subjective norm was the strongest predictor of adopting preventive behaviors, followed by the knowledge level and perceived behavioral control. Contrary to expectations, we found no evidence that an attitude towards preventive action predicted actual adoption of preventive behavior against COVID-19. However, knowledge and social norms play a significant role. We discuss implications for effective risk communication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5331
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Preventive behaviors
  • Subjective norms
  • Theory of planned behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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