Social capital and health-protective behavior intentions in an influenza pandemic

Ying-Chih Chuang, Ya-Li Huang, Kuo Chien Tseng, Chia Hsin Yen, Lin Hui Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Health-protective behaviors, such as receiving a vaccine, wearing a face mask, and washing hands frequently, can reduce the risk of contracting influenza. However, little is known about how social capital may influence health-protective behavior in the general population. This study examined whether each of the social capital dimensions (bonding, bridging, and linking) contributed to the intention to adopt any of the health-protective behaviors in an influenza pandemic. The data of this study were from the 2014 Taiwan Social Change Survey. A stratified, three-stage probability proportional-to-size sampling from across the nation, was conducted to select adults aged 20 years and older (N = 1,745). Bonding social capital was measured by the frequency of neighborly contact and support. Bridging social capital was measured based on association membership. Linking social capital was measured according to general government trust and trust in the government's capacity to counter an influenza pandemic. Binary logistic regressions were used to assess the multivariate associations between social capital and behavioral intention. The study results indicate that social capital may influence the response to influenza pandemic. Specifically, the intention to receive a vaccine and to wash hands more frequently were associated with the linking dimension and the bonding dimension of social capital, while the intention to wear a face mask was associated with all forms of social capital. The findings of this study suggest that government credibility and interpersonal networks may play a crucial role in health-protective behavior. This study provides new insights into how to improve the effectiveness of influenza prevention campaigns.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0122970
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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