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How did socio-demographic status and personal attributes influence compliance to COVID-19 preventive behaviours during the early outbreak in Japan? Lessons for pandemic management
journal contributionposted on 17.09.2021, 00:30 by Shahadat Uddin, Tasadduq ImamTasadduq Imam, Matloob Khushi, Arif Khan, Mohammad Ali Moni
This study focuses on how socio-demographic status and personal attributes influence self-protective behaviours during a pandemic, with protection behaviours being assessed through three perspectives – social distancing, personal protection behaviour and social responsibility awareness. The research considers a publicly available and recently collected dataset on Japanese citizens during the COVID-19 early outbreak and utilises a data analysis framework combining Classification and Regression Tree (CART), a data mining approach, and regression analysis to gain deep insights. The analysis reveals Socio-demographic attributes – sex, marital family status and having children – as having played an influential role in Japanese citizens' abiding by the COVID-19 protection behaviours. Especially women with children are noted as more conscious than their male counterparts. Work status also appears to have some impact concerning social distancing. Trust in government also appears as a significant factor. The analysis further identifies smoking behaviour as a factor characterising subjective prevention actions with non-smokers or less-frequent smokers being more compliant to the protection behaviours. Overall, the findings imply the need of public policy campaigning to account for variations in protection behaviour due to socio-demographic and personal attributes during pandemics and national emergencies.