Assessing attitudes toward Covid-19 prevention: Defining two attitudes crucial for understanding systemic and social variables associated with disparities
This study tested a conceptual model identifying two distinct types of attitudes people may have toward following recommendations to prevent COVID-19. These attitudes were expected to be important for understanding types of systemic and social variables associated with health disparities such as racial discrimination, residential environment, lack of healthcare access, and negative healthcare experiences. The conceptual model was drawn from previous work examining adherence to medical recommendations that identified two distinct and consequential attitudes that influence behavior: perceived benefit (believing recommendations are effective and necessary) and perceived burden (experiencing recommendations as unpleasant or difficult). Approximately equal proportions of Black and White individuals living in the USA (N = 194) were recruited to complete an online survey. A psychometric analysis indicated that perceived benefit and burden attitudes were two distinct and meaningful dimensions that could be assessed with high validity, and scales demonstrated measurement invariance across Black and White groups. In correlation analyses, benefit and burden attitudes were robustly associated with neighborhood violence, healthcare access, and healthcare experiences (but not with experiences of discrimination), and all these associations remained significant after accounting for subjective stress and political affiliation. These findings have implications for increasing compliance to public health recommendations and addressing health disparities.