Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: The interplay between strictness of policies and individuals' self-regulatory efforts: associations with handwashing during the Covid-19 pandemic
Authors: Luszczynska, Aleksandra
Szczuka, Zofia
Abraham, Charles
Baban, Adriana
Brooks, Sydney
Cipolletta, Sabrina
Danso, Ebrima
Dombrowski, Stephan U.
Gan, Yiqun
Gaspar, Tania
de Matos, Margarida Gaspar
Griva, Konstadina
Jongenelis, Michelle I.
Keller, Jan
Knoll, Nina
Ma, Jinjin
Mohammad Adbdul Awal Miah
Morgan, Karen
Peraud, William
Quintard, Bruno
Shah, Vishna
Schenkel, Konstantin
Scholz, Urte
Schwarzer, Ralf
Siwa, Maria
Taut, Diana
Tomaino, Silvia C. M.
Vilchinsky, Noa
Wolf, Hodaya
Keywords: Science::Medicine
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Luszczynska, A., Szczuka, Z., Abraham, C., Baban, A., Brooks, S., Cipolletta, S., Danso, E., Dombrowski, S. U., Gan, Y., Gaspar, T., de Matos, M. G., Griva, K., Jongenelis, M. I., Keller, J., Knoll, N., Ma, J., Mohammad Adbdul Awal Miah, Morgan, K., Peraud, W., ...Wolf, H. (2022). The interplay between strictness of policies and individuals' self-regulatory efforts: associations with handwashing during the Covid-19 pandemic. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 56(4), 368-380.
Journal: Annals of Behavioral Medicine 
Abstract: Background: Patterns of protective health behaviors, such as handwashing and sanitizing during the COVID19 pandemic, may be predicted by macro-level variables, such as regulations specified by public health policies. Health behavior patterns may also be predicted by micro-level variables, such as self-regulatory cognitions specified by health behavior models, including the Health Action Process Approach (HAPA). Purpose: This study explored whether strictness of containment and health policies was related to handwashing adherence and whether such associations were mediated by HAPA-specified self-regulatory cognitions. Methods: The study (NCT04367337) was conducted among 1,256 adults from Australia, Canada, China, France, Gambia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, and Switzerland. Self-report data on cross-situational handwashing adherence were collected using an online survey at two time points, 4 weeks apart. Values of the index of strictness of containment and health policies, obtained from the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker database, were retrieved twice for each country (1 week prior to individual data collection). Results: Across countries and time, levels of handwashing adherence and strictness of policies were high. Path analysis indicated that stricter containment and health policies were indirectly related to lower handwashing adherence via lower self-efficacy and self-monitoring. Less strict policies were indirectly related to higher handwashing adherence via higher self-efficacy and self-monitoring. Conclusions: When policies are less strict, exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus might be higher, triggering more self-regulation and, consequently, more handwashing adherence. Very strict policies may need to be accompanied by enhanced information dissemination or psychosocial interventions to ensure appropriate levels of self-regulation.
ISSN: 0883-6612
DOI: 10.1093/abm/kaab102
Schools: Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) 
Rights: © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
kaab102.pdf732.47 kBAdobe PDFThumbnail

Citations 50

Updated on Feb 24, 2024

Web of ScienceTM
Citations 20

Updated on Oct 25, 2023

Page view(s)

Updated on Feb 29, 2024

Download(s) 50

Updated on Feb 29, 2024

Google ScholarTM




Items in DR-NTU are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.