Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
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Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. 2021, 9(1), 17-23
DOI: 10.12691/rpbs-9-1-3
Open AccessArticle

Factors Affecting Preventive Behaviours during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic in Saudi Arabia: An Application of Protection Motivation Theory

Saeed Abdullah AL-Dossary1,

1Psychology Department, College of Education, University of Ha'il, Ha'il, Saudi Arabia

Pub. Date: August 04, 2021

Cite this paper:
Saeed Abdullah AL-Dossary. Factors Affecting Preventive Behaviours during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic in Saudi Arabia: An Application of Protection Motivation Theory. Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. 2021; 9(1):17-23. doi: 10.12691/rpbs-9-1-3


The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) in predicting engagement in COVID-19 preventive behaviours in Saudi Arabia. A non-probability snowball sample (N = 594) of general public took part in the study via social media. Data were collected at two occasions for one week for each occasion between 30 August 2020 and 26 September 2020. Self-report measures of demographic information and the PMT constructs were obtained at the initial occasion. Two weeks later, self-report measures of COVID-19 preventive behaviours were collected. Structural equation modelling was used for data analysis. The results provided support of the relevance and predictive ability of the PMT. The pattern of effects among the constructs was consistent with the PMT. All of the PMT constructs, with the exception of perceived vulnerability, were found to explain preventive behaviours against COVID-19. Self-efficacy was the strongest variable in predicting the preventive behaviours from COVID-19. Based on these results, public health campaigns that are tailored toward the severity of COVID-19 may be more effective in increasing individuals’ motivation for adopting COVID-19 preventive behaviours than those that focus on increasing perceptions of individuals’ vulnerability to COVID-19. Health education interventions should consider strategies to increase an individual’s perceived self-efficacy of protective behaviours against COVID-19 such as providing opportunities to direct experience with behaviour through demonstration, modelling, and positive feedback.

COVID-19 protection motivation theory preventive behaviors structural equation modeling Saudi Arabia

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