Adherence to COVID-19 public health practices in adolescence: The role of morality, group dynamics and personal choice

Grant number: COV19\200585

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    British Academy
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United Kingdom, Europe
  • Lead Research Institution

    University of Exeter, Department of Psychology
  • Research Category

    Policies for public health, disease control & community resilience

  • Research Subcategory

    Approaches to public health interventions

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group

    Adolescent (13 years to 17 years)

  • Vulnerable Population


  • Occupations of Interest



Adolescents face a reduced risk of severe symptoms or death from the novel coronavirus, yet there is some evidence that youth can transmit the virus at the same rate as adults. Until an evidence-based consensus is reached regarding transmission, it will be important to promote adherence to public health practices (e.g. social distancing, hand washing) among adolescents. Crucially, there is a need for research exploring how adolescents themselves reason about these issues. The proposed project will examine adolescents' reasoning about public health practices and whether this is related to behavioural intentions to engage with these practices. Second, the project will examine how misinformation can impact adolescents' reasoning and public health behavioural intentions. Together this evidence will inform the communication of COVID-19 related information in order to promote youth engagement with public health practices and challenge the potential consequences of misinformation.