Beliefs Underlying US Adults' Intention to Stay Home during the COVID-19 Pandemic Academic Article uri icon


  • Objective: In this study, we estimated the relative contribution of 4 Reasoned Action Approach (RAA) belief determinants in explaining intention to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Data were obtained from a survey of a nationally representative sample of US adults (N = 942) conducted April 10-20, 2020 (about one-month after initial stay-at-home orders were implemented) using a probability-based Internet household panel (Ipsos KnowledgePanel). Multiple regression analysis tested the association between attitude, injunctive norm, descriptive norm, and self-efficacy and intention to stay home for the next month while controlling for demographic factors. We tested for a moderating effect of worker status on the relationships between the 4 RAA beliefs and intention. Results: Instrumental attitude, injunctive norm, descriptive norm, and self-efficacy demonstrated statistically significant independent associations with intention to stay home. Self-efficacy showed the highest independent association. However, this relation was modified by an interaction between self-efficacy and worker status, revealing that self-efficacy is particularly important for essential workers. Conclusions: These findings suggest that public health strategies to increase individuals intention to stay home and encourage adherence to stayat- home policies should focus on enhancing self-efficacy with communication and policy supports. To be most effective, interventions should be targeted based on worker status.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Owens, C., Hunter-Mullis, K., Macy, J. T., Dickinson, S., & Middlestadt, S. E.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Owens, Christopher||Hunter-Mullis, Kristina||Macy, Jonathan T||Dickinson, Stephanie||Middlestadt, Susan E

publication date

  • 2022