Gender differences on psychosocial factors affecting covid-19 preventive behaviors

Nicolás Bronfman, Paula Repetto, Paola Cordón, Javiera Castañeda, Pamela Cisternas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have reported differences between men and women in the adoption of preventive behaviors against infectious diseases. This study aims to examine gender differences on a set of psychosocial factors shown to influence preventive behaviors against infectious diseases such as COVID-19. We conducted a web survey (N = 1.004) a few weeks after the end of the peak of the first wave of infections in Chile. The survey assessed participants’ perception of risk and worry about the COVID-19 pandemic, confidence in the government’s competence and integrity in dealing with the crisis, attribution of responsibility to various stakeholders, and adoption of preventive be-haviors such as hygiene, distancing, and information-seeking. Our results confirm significant gen-der-based differences for both the psychosocial factors and the adoption of preventive behaviors. We conclude that women show a higher level of worry and fear of the pandemic and are keener to adopt preventive hygiene and social distancing behaviors. Similarly, participants report a low level of trust in government authorities, with women reporting the lowest trust level. The implications of these findings for the design of future risk communication strategies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6148
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Gender
  • Preventive behaviors
  • Trust
  • Worry

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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