COVID-19 and College Students: The Relationships among Fear of COVID-19, Preventative Behaviors, & Vaccination Intention
Objective: This study looked at three key variables of fear of COVID-19, preventative behaviors, and vaccination intent among college students in the United Sates. In addition, the three key variables were compared between genders, age groups, race groups, and over time to see if there were any significant findings. <br/>Method: This longitudinal study consisted of two anonymous online surveys administered on REDCap before and after a COVID-19 vaccine became available. <br/>Results: The findings suggested positive correlations between students’ fear of COVID-19 and their preventative behaviors with the passing of time. Hispanic/Latino participants had significantly higher fear of COVID-19 scores compared to Non-Hispanic Whites and other races at Wave I and II. Participants between 25 and 30 years old had a marginally greater difference fear of COVID-19 score compared to those less than 25. Females had significantly higher mean preventative behavior score than males at Wave II. There was a significant association between race/ethnicity groups and vaccination intent. <br/>Conclusion: Knowing why different groups do not engage in recommended preventative behaviors or receive vaccinations can tell us more about what tailored interventions may need to be developed and implemented to promote health and wellbeing in this population. Further research needs to be done regarding race, gender, and age and how these different groups of college students are responding to COVID-19 and why.