Two new papers, authored by teams headed by DUPRI's Jennifer Lansford and using data from the Parenting Across Cultures study, examine the effects of pre-pandemic predictors on individuals' compliance with COVID mitigation strategies and vaccine hesitancy and with their mental well-being and substance use. Both papers also explore how confidence in government handling of the pandemic influences these behaviors.
In "Compliance with Health Recommendations and Vaccine Hesitancy During the COVID Pandemic in Nine Countries," published in Prevention Science, longitudinal data from the Parenting Across Cultures study of children, mothers, and fathers in 12 cultural groups in nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the USA; N = 1331 families) were used to understand predictors of compliance with COVID-19 mitigation strategies and vaccine hesitancy. Confidence in government responses to the COVID pandemic was also examined as a potential moderator of links between pre-COVID risk factors and compliance with COVID mitigation strategies and vaccine hesitancy. Greater confidence in government responses to the COVID pandemic was associated with greater compliance with COVID mitigation strategies and less vaccine hesitancy across cultures and reporters. Pre-COVID financial strain and family stress were less consistent predictors of compliance with COVID mitigation strategies and vaccine hesitancy than confidence in government responses to the pandemic. Findings suggest the importance of bolstering confidence in government responses to future human ecosystem disruptions, perhaps through consistent, clear, non-partisan messaging and transparency in acknowledging limitations and admitting mistakes to inspire compliance with government and public health recommendations.
In "Pre-pandemic psychological and behavioral predictors of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in nine countries", published in Development and Psychopathology, the authors focus on changes to adolescent well-being over the course of the pandemic. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescents (N = 1,330), mothers, and fathers from nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, United States) reported on adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problems, adolescents completed a lab-based task to assess tendency for risk-taking, and adolescents reported on their well-being. During the pandemic, participants reported on changes in their internalizing, externalizing, and substance use compared to before the pandemic. Across countries, adolescents’ internalizing problems pre-pandemic predicted increased internalizing during the pandemic, and poorer well-being pre-pandemic predicted increased externalizing and substance use during the pandemic. Other relations varied across countries, and some were moderated by confidence in the government’s handling of the pandemic, gender, and parents’ education.